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A doctor has warned of the dangers of nasal tanning sprays which have gone viral on social media in recent weeks.
By now, most people are aware of the dangers of sunbeds and tanning outdoors without using adequate sun protection cream.
Sunbeds are a serious cause for concern because they give out ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can increase your risk of developing skin cancer.
This led to the introduction of the Sunbeds (Regulation) Act 2010 which came into force on 8 April 2011 to ensure that no person under the age of 18 years uses a sun bed.
While new beauty products often go viral on social media, the latest craze could actually be quite dangerous to use.
You might have seen nasal sprays for tanning on your social media pages. The nasal tanning sprays contain a synthetic, lab-produced chemical melanotan, not to be confused with the natural skin pigment melanin.
Melanotan increases the production of skin-darkening pigments, giving the skin a bronzed tan.
Dr. Tariq Mahmood, Medical Director at Concepto Diagnostics, is extremely concerned about the impact seeing the sprays on social media could have on young people in particular.
He explains that the sprays are often seen as being a practical alternative because melanotan enters into the body in a non-invasive manner by passing through the mucus and entering the bloodstream via the soft issue at the top of your nose.
However, there are some extremely concerning side effects caused by melanotan, which is unlicensed and illegal in the UK, including loss of appetite, nausea, dizziness and vomiting.
When purchasing unregulated products it can be unclear what the ingredients actually consist of and you could end up inhaling something that could cause you to have an allergic reaction.
"I would strongly recommend against using any product with an unapproved drug, including nasal tanning sprays," the doctor tells Tyla.
"The uncertainty surrounding melanotan is especially concerning considering its popularity among young people as they might not even realise the potential danger that they’re putting themselves into. There are much better ways for people to get a nice, healthy, bronze skin glow, whether it’s naturally tanning with sunscreen or using fake tan mousses and sprays.”
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