Dear Visitor,

Our system has found that you are using an ad-blocking browser add-on.

We just wanted to let you know that our site content is, of course, available to you absolutely free of charge.

Our ads are the only way we have to be able to bring you the latest high-quality content, which is written by professional journalists, with the help of editors, graphic designers, and our site production and I.T. staff, as well as many other talented people who work around the clock for this site.

So, we ask you to add this site to your Ad Blocker’s "white list" or to simply disable your Ad Blocker while visiting this site.

Continue on this site freely
  HOME     MENU     SEARCH     NEWSLETTER    
TECHNOLOGY, DISCOVERY & INNOVATION. UPDATED 11 MINUTES AGO.
You are here: Home / Health / Scientists Create Safe Way To Tan
Researchers Develop Safe Way To Tan
Researchers Develop Safe Way To Tan
By Kristin Toussaint Like this on Facebook Tweet this Link thison Linkedin Link this on Google Plus
PUBLISHED:
JUNE
14
2017
As the weather warms up, people flock to the beach to enjoy the sand, surf and, of course, sun. A tan can be the marker of a weekend well spent, but it can also lead to health problems as UV rays increase the risk of skin cancer.

But your tan of the future may actually protect you from skin cancer, thanks to researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Researchers have developed molecules to tan skin without the damaging effects of UV radiation. This method goes beyond your usual bottle tan, though, because it causes skin to produce a dark form of melanin that actually protects against cancer-causing rays.

The study on the process was published in Tuesday's issue of Cell Reports and builds on a 2006 study that induced tanning in red-haired mice.

Those mice were used because they have a genetic variant that doesn't allow them to tan, similar to red-headed, fair-skinned humans.

In that 2006 study, a topical compound called forskolin was applied to the mice, resulting in a tan and the production of a skin pigment called eumelanin, which protects against UV rays.

But when the researchers tried to replicate the tan on human skin, it didn't work - most likely because human skin is five times thicker than that of mice, researchers said - so they tried again.

This time, researchers developed new molecules that get the tanning protein ever deeper into the epidermis and voila, the skin appeared darker after eight days of daily, topical administration.

(Cultured human skin which on the far right has been treated for eight consecutive days and appears darker. On the left, it has been treated with a control or the substance less able to penetrate human skin and shows no change. Photo: Department of Dermatology/MGH)

"We are excited about the possibility of inducing dark pigment production in human skin without a need for either systemic exposure to a drug or UV exposure to the skin," said Dr. David Fisher, chief of dermatology at MGH and both studies' leader, in a statement.

The pigmented skin is "physiologically identical to UV-induced pigmentation without the DNA-damaging effects of UV," he said.

The team still needs to conduct safety studies, which Fisher said are always essential with new treatment compounds, so that they can better understand the acting agents.

"But it's possible they may lead to new ways of protecting against UV-induced skin damage and cancer formation," he added.

© 2017 Metro under contract with NewsEdge/Acquire Media. All rights reserved.

Image credit: iStock/Artist's concept.

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

Like Us on FacebookFollow Us on Twitter
MORE IN HEALTH

NETWORK SECURITY SPOTLIGHT
A computer programmer who created malware used to hack the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 U.S. presidential race has become a cooperating witness in the FBI's investigation.

SCI-TECH TODAY
NEWSFACTOR NETWORK SITES
NEWSFACTOR SERVICES
© Copyright 2017 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.