Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Safer suntans through science

Safer than sun, more natural looking than sunless tanners: Topical treatment may be the next advance in tanning

An organic compound that creates a realistic beachy glow while inducing a natural sun block effect in your skin may be just around the corner, as scientists at the University of Kentucky are testing a treatment that enhances melanin production in animal models.

"We are in the process of evaluating forskolin, a derivative of the plant Pletranthus barbatus, for safety when applied to the skin. We know it stimulates melanin, but we need to know that it does so without adverse effect. So far, results are promising," said Dr. John D'Orazio of the UK Department of Pediatrics,the Markey Cancer Center and the Graduate Center for Toxicology.

Many people use sunless tanning products to achieve a tan look without risking the UV damage that causes skin cancer and wrinkles. However, sunless tanners currently on the market use a chemical that dyes skin a brown or orange shade. With no sun protection, skin remains vulnerable to burns and damage. Some people become frustrated with the tricky application of sunless tanners (as anyone who has ever left the house with orange knees and elbows can attest) and either give up entirely, or turn to the sun and tanning beds. Getting a tan either by sitting out in the sun or in a tanning bed currently comes with the bad side effects of ultraviolet radiation, namely sun spots, skin thickening and skin cancer. This new approach uses a lotion that fools the skin into thinking it has been out in the sun (causing natural tanning to happen) without the bad side effects of UV light.

Even those who do not desire a tanned look and use copious amounts of sun block may be at risk of skin cancer, as sun blocks require constant re-application, fade as they are exposed to sunlight, and often protect only against UVB rays, not the UVA rays blamed for some skin cancers and photo-aging of skin.

People with more melanin in their skin have darker skin that is naturally more resistant to sun damage because the melanin which is actually part of the epidermis acts as a wonderful natural sunscreen against all kinds of UV radiation. The compound being tested at the University of Kentucky actually stimulates skin to produce more of its own melanin.

The result is not only a biologically authentic, natural-looking tan, but also increased protection from the sun. Although all of the work thus far has been done in an animal model of "humanized skin", D'Orazio and his team showed that the skin of a pale individual can be made to mimic the sun-resistant skin of another with a naturally darker complexion. Effects are temporary and last only as long as the lotion is applied, so people could build up their melanin production in advance of prolonged sun exposure such as a trip to the beach. Researchers are touting this approach as a novel way to protect individuals from cancer-causing sun damage.

"What is exciting to us as scientists and physicians is the possibility of reducing skin cancer by making skin more impervious to UV damage. The cosmetic effect does have a lot of people excited and that's great too. If this keeps even one person from going to a tanning bed and increasing their risk for skin cancer, then it will serve its purpose," said D'Orazio.

Allison Elliott | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIH scientists describe potential antibody treatment for multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae
14.03.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

nachricht Researchers identify key step in viral replication
13.03.2018 | University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

A new kind of quantum bits in two dimensions

19.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Scientists have a new way to gauge the growth of nanowires

19.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>