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Could this new drug give you a real sun tan?

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Scientists say they have discovered a drug that could give you a real sun tan without even stepping outside.

The drug gets the body to create melanin the pigment which is the body’s natural protection against ultraviolet rays in sunlight.

But the experts at Massachusetts General Hospital in the USA say their findings is not so much for cosmetic use – but could have a “huge” impact in cutting skin cancer rates, BBC News reports.

The drug has only been tested on mice so far, but there are hopes it could reduce both sunbed use and the risk of burning for people tanning in the sun.

Dr David Fisher, one of the researchers, said they would like to see the drug combined with sun cream and made widely available in future.

Council chiefs say skin cancer is a serious problem in Liverpool, launching a national campaign against sunbed use in 2013 after finding half of teenage girls had used one.

Dr Paula Grey, the city’s public health director at the time, said: “Girls in Liverpool like to look tanned. We haven’t got a problem with that. It’s how you get the tan.

“It’s just not worth using sunbeds. There will be girls of today who in 20 years’ time will develop skin cancer.

“But we have even seen examples of girls in their 20s developing melanoma, and we are expecting to see rates rise.”

Michelle Purchase, from Prenton (Photo: James Maloney)

Tributes were paid to a young woman from Prenton who died of skin cancer last month after bravely speaking out about the disease.

Michelle Purchase, a healthcare assistant, was widely praised for a heartfelt warning she made just weeks before her death about the dangers of sunbeds she had used as a teenager.

Matthew Gass, from the British Association of Dermatologists, told the BBC; “A lot more research has to be done before we see this sort of technology being used on humans, however, it’s certainly an interesting proposition.

“Skin cancer rates in the UK are going through the roof… any research into ways that we can prevent people from developing skin cancer in the first place is to be welcomed.”


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