TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Some people lie out in the sun in an attempt to get a tan. Others use tanning beds to get the same effect.
Now, a so-called “Barbie drug” named “Melanotan 2” is gaining popularity.
Only sold via the internet, the drug comes in powder form. Customers mix it with sterile water and inject it with a syringe.
Tampa dermatologist Seth Forman is sounding the alarm on such products.
“If you’re dying to get tan, this tan may actually make you die,” he said.
“You’re doing something that is altering the pigment of your skin artificially. In addition, these are the cells that could potentially cause melanoma,” he added.
Melanoma, meaning skin cancer.
Emelie Abrahamson who burns badly said she would never consider giving herself a shot to avoid future burns.
“I’m just scared of shots, so I would never do anything that I don’t have to do,” she said.
Melanotan 2 sellers tout fancy “before and after” pictures and talk about how safe it is.
However, they offer no phone numbers or addresses to contact them on their websites.
“We’re very much against people using these injectables, as well as using a tanning bed or getting fried outside in the sun,” Forman said.
Forman approves of spray tans, provided that people are aware that they don’t protect from the sun’s damaging rays.
Other beach-goers winced at the prospect of injecting Melanotan 2.
“I think for a tan, it’s not worth it,” said Mackenzie Zak.
“You could be accelerating the growth of skin cancer in your own body,” Forman said.
Some of the websites advise users to inject this drug at bedtime, so you can sleep through the side effects. These include nausea and stomach cramps.Never miss another Facebook post from 8NewsFind 8News on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram; send your news tips to iReport8@wric.com.