The Sunscreen Squad

Pregnancy and tanning beds. Please don’t.

Posted in sunscreen by sunscreensquad on January 14, 2010

I was reading some comments on a New York Times article about sun protection and one of the readers noted she was concerned about getting enough vitamin D for her unborn baby. She was using tanning beds 3 times a week to combat this problem. This is A) a useless way to get vitamin D; B) potentially hazardous to her life and C) could seriously jeopardize the health of her baby.

Why? Apart from the very real risk of skin cancer. Tanning beds emit condensed UVA radiation at around 12 times higher than what you would get from natural sunlight. Some studies have indicated that UVA in concentrated doses may lead to breakdown of folic acid, an essential vitamin for fetal brain development. Not worth the risk.

Vitamin D is derived from UVB rays. Tanning beds emit about 95% UVA. So to get a small amount of UVB, your body is subjected to a magnified dose of UVA. Not healthy.

Pregnant women are more susceptible to sunburn and hormonal brown patchiness (chloasma).

Overheating your body during pregnancy is not a great idea.


The Amazing Aging Effects of the Sun

Posted in sunscreen by sunscreensquad on August 4, 2008

Aging in Twins Study

Now, for those of you who think the aging effects of UV exposure is over-hyped, here is an interesting study which may change your mind..

New York plastic surgeon Darrick E. Antell, M.D. has been researching facial surgery techniques by performing the procedures on identical twins. Take a look at this example below. Fig. 1 and Fig. 2 are twin sisters before and after their facial surgery. The one on the right has a long history of sun exposure. Read more about the study at

This May Hurt a Little. Tan by Injection? Welcome to the 21st Century

Posted in Uncategorized by sunscreensquad on August 1, 2008

The Barbie Drug

There is currently a study underway on a synthetic hormone called Melanotan, which stimulates the body’s natural melanin production to give a ‘suntan’ without sun exposure. Melanotan’s side effects include; increase in libido and decrease in appetite… hmmm. No wonder it has been dubbed ‘The Barbie Drug’. It is also being trialled as a treatment for rosacea.

Trials of Melanotan have yielded significant results. Added to the obvious effect of producing a tanned appearance, other results showed:

*Sunburn injury reduced more than 50% in fair skinned people

*Fair skinned people reported up to 100% increase in melanin in some areas

The dark pigment called melanin is the body’s natural defense against sunburn; However, the problem is that melanin production is stimulated only AFTER the skin has suffered a sunburn; In other words, there is no chance of a tan without first damaging the skin. Melanotan trials have shown the drug can stimulate melanin production without the sun. Sound too good to be true? There have been three different developments of the drug;

Melanotan Ireceived orphan-drug status in July 2008. The drug, being developed in Australia by Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals Ltd, may now be used to treat the rare genetic disease erythropoietic protoporphyria, which causes severe light-sensitivity to people with fair skin. Patients suffer intolerable pain, swelling, and scarring from exposure to light and often can’t go outside. It will be available as a slow release capsule about the size of a grain of rice to be implanted under the skin by a doctor.

Melanotan II – was already being sold as an injectable drug with a very long disclaimer warning that it was to be used for “research” purposes only. In August of 2007, the US Food and Drug Administration sent a warning letter to internet business, Melanocorp to stop the illegal sale of Melanotan II as it is currently an unapproved product making unsubstantiated claims that could pose a heath risk to the public. You can read the letter here.

Bremelanotide or “Passion” – was being researched as a nasal spray treatment for sexual disfunction in men and women but ran into problems because it caused unusually high blood pressure.


NOTE: The Pale Girl finds this injectable tan fascinating, but in no way endorses it or has any idea where to go to get it. If anyone has tried this drug, please comment on your experience!