Rub On a Tan and Prevent Skin Cancer?
- 09-21-2006, 11:27 PM
Rub On a Tan and Prevent Skin Cancer?
Rub On a Tan and Prevent Skin Cancer?
09.20.06, 12:00 AM ET
WEDNESDAY, Sept. 20 (HealthDay News) -- In the not-too-distant future, you may be able to slather on a lotion that both protects your skin from cancer and gives you a tanned look at the same time.
Researchers are reporting that they've discovered a way to repair the pathway that keeps fair-skinned people from tanning. And, it looks like repairing that pathway can help prevent the development of skin cancer too, according to the study authors.
"A small molecule applied to the skin of red-haired, fair-skinned mice essentially rescued the pathway and allowed the mice to darken. The reactivation of that pathway was protective to the mice," said the study's lead author, Dr. David E. Fisher, director of the Melanoma Program at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. "What we're learning will hopefully be leading us to new strategies for skin-cancer prevention."
The findings were published in the Sept. 21 issue of Nature.
But, not everyone is convinced the approach will work -- at least any time soon.
"I think it will be a while before we have a cream that can safely increase melanin in the skin," said Dr. Seth J. Orlow, chairman of the department of dermatology at New York University Medical Center in New York City. "I think this study was carefully done, but we would be well advised to temper any enthusiasm."
Orlow said the skin on mice is much thinner than it is on humans, so it would be harder for any potential medications to penetrate deep enough to be effective. He also said he'd be concerned about potential side effects from such a medication.
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. More than one million Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer this year, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Over 90 percent of skin cancers can be attributed to sun exposure.
People with fair skin, light hair and/or light eyes tend to develop skin cancer at higher rates than people with darker skin. That's because people with darker skin produce more melanin, a pigment that protects against the development of deadly skin cancer, according to Fisher.
To figure out what's going on under the skin, Fisher and his team studied red-haired, fair-skinned mice. Like people with red hair and light skin, these mice didn't tan, but instead burned when exposed to the sun and its ultraviolet rays.
Melanin is manufactured when a chemical known as cyclic AMP (cAMP) stimulates melanocytes, the melanin-producing cells in the skin. Different people produce different levels of cAMP. People with red hair and fair skin tend to have low levels of cAMP.
Levels of cAMP are controlled by a hormone called melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH). The reason that fair-skinned, red-haired mice have low levels of cAMP is that the receptor for MSH, which is called MC1R, is shaped differently and can't be effectively stimulated by MSH. The result is fair skin, because less pigment is produced.
Fisher and his colleagues believed that this pathway to melanin production could be repaired in the fair mice. To test this theory, the researchers used a compound known as forskolin on the mice because it's believed to raise cAMP levels.
Indeed, after forskolin was rubbed on the skin of the mice, their skin darkened. According to Fisher, the tanning process appeared to be indistinguishable from the normal tanning process that skin goes through when exposed to sunlight. And, he said, the mice didn't have the same inflammatory response in their skin after being exposed to the sun. Additionally, the researchers didn't notice any ill effects from the treatment, he added.
But, Fisher said, "Long before this could be recommended for people, it has to be rigorously tested. We have to be sure what we're doing is safe. We don't want to cause problems in people who are otherwise healthy."
Fisher said forskolin is only one potential drug, and that there are many others that can be tested.
"Skin cancer appears to be one of the most preventable cancers in man, yet its incidence is rising. We need to develop more strategies to help people prevent it," Fisher said. And, he added, if a lotion can tan the skin, such "darkening may diminish sun-seeking behavior," which would also help prevent skin cancer.
Fisher's group isn't the only team of researchers hoping to develop a product that can tan the skin and protect against skin cancer. A group of Australian researchers has already conducted Phase I and II clinical trials on an injectable medication called melanotan. Melanotan is a synthetic version of MSH. In a small trial involving 12 people, those who took the manufactured hormone had about a 20 percent increase in MSH levels.
- 09-22-2006, 03:14 AM
You know, when I think of it, before I ever supplemented I would burn really easily every summer (I'm Irish and Norweigan..go figure). Now, I might burn once and then get really bronzed for most of the summer even on minimal sun exposure. I just attributed this to better overall health.
I take a few supps that up cAMP, forskolin being one of them. I wonder if it works internally. If it's as simple as raising cAMP levels..I have to wonder.
09-22-2006, 08:36 AM
There are other supps that could have had a positive effect on your tan, and lack of burning. I read this article on M&M yesterday. It does seem promising, and its easy enough to test. I mixed about a gram of 95% forskolin in a liquid sunscreen oil and am testing a small patch to see how this works. Eclipze on M&M is trying something similar with ab-solved as the carrier. I will try that soon, but my current ab-solved bottle is quite saturated with other goodies.
The article said it only took a few days to see a result (in rats of course). I'm curious how long it would last. It would be a major improvement for those fair skinned people out there as well as regular people that would like a tan without the major skin cancer risks.
09-22-2006, 12:56 PM
Definitely let us know. I was thinking about this approach last night after reading this article.
Seems simple enough, let's see what the reality is.
09-22-2006, 01:57 PM
to correct myself, Eclypz is using a skin lotion (Sauve) and not ab-solved.Originally Posted by bioman
This will be so easy to test. Either your skin changes color or it doesn't. Hard to argue with that.
10-06-2006, 08:43 AM
I tried DMSO and the contents of 2 forskolin capsules.
I got a skin reaction. Itchy. I'm not sure if the skin turned darker or the skin irritation caused it to darken. Darkening was only slight after 16 hours of application. I will try this again with more pure forskolin after the skin stops itching. I might try another carrier also; as I read that DMSO may cause skin irritation.
10-06-2006, 11:13 AM
DMSO is probably not the best choice. It is a very effective penetrator, but the goal is to get the forskolin to stay in your skin. With DMSO you will get a systemic effect which is not the intent. And yes, pure dmso is irrirating to many. Also, the appears to be a staining effect when using the 20% material, ie some color change but its not a tan but the material itself.Originally Posted by RichTan
10-09-2006, 11:38 AM
chat about new study by Wash. Post science writer
11-01-2006, 11:43 PM
I'm quite interested in the results people have had with the forskolin and DMSO. And do you think using this with Melotan-II, MSH, would increase the desired effects? I am scotish and cant tan for ****. I've occasionally had spray tans, but I want something natural, cheaper and more effective.
11-04-2006, 03:14 PM
I am aware of some success with Forskolin.
Forslean capsules dissolved with Ethyl alcohol 96% usp, Propylene Glycol. 70%/30%. So far only applied to small area on ankle.
see also:Melanotan.org Forum for Shared Discussions - Soclguy's trial with C. Forskolin
06-30-2010, 06:37 PM
well I have read about people's success with it on other forums, I just wanna find the right formula, could someone help me with that. I heard it also darkens hair, as a redhead that would be awesome.
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