Being tanned has become a trend we can no longer ignore. This is because bronzed skin is often associated to what we call beauty standards. Many of us want to reach those standards and look like our favorite idol. For that reason, we are sometimes tempted to try unorthodox methods. Melanotan may be considered such a method. This is a man-made hormone meant to stimulate our body to produce more skin pigment. But to what end?
Are melanotan and tanorexia related?
Some people are so eager of being tanned; they make an obsession out of it. Tanorexia is defined in the urban dictionary as a physical or psychological addiction to being tanned. This is a mental condition that makes patients believe they are not tanned enough, regardless their skin color. Thus, patients suffering from this illness will abuse sunbeds, tanning sprays or any such products with similar effects. Attention has turned to melanotan, as it promises fast results with little to none harmful exposure to sunlight. So, could melanotan be associated with this condition?
In fact, no one really knows. Melanotan is known for its side effects such as dizziness, stomach pains, vomiting, diarrhea and nausea. Some claimed they experienced anxiety. But most of people speak well of melanotan and consider repeating the regimen. But there is a very fine line between the sheer pleasure of being tanned and being hooked to tanning jabs.
How to tell if you’re tanorexic
One widely used method to track addictions of any kind is the CAGE method. This method consists in a set of questions. Here are the questions:
1. Have you ever felt you needed to Cut down on your tanning habits?
2. Have people Annoyed you by criticizing your tanning routine?
3. Have you ever felt Guilty about tanning too much?
4. Have you ever felt you needed to tan first thing in the morning (Eye-opener) to make you feel better about yourself?
If the answer to at least two of the questions is “yes”, then the matter should be investigated further by specialists.
What can you do about tanning addiction?
Tanorexia is a serious condition that can be related to body image disorder. What is more alarming is that patients experience withdrawal symptoms like nausea or jitteriness when they stop tanning. The matter has grabbed public attention and caused specialist to treat tanorexia as a serious mental illness.
In consequence, specialists developed therapy programs to help addicts treat their tanorexia. These programs include individual or group therapy. The therapy sessions can take place daily or weekly, depending on the severity of the case. Rehab centers have also been built to aid those suffering from tanorexia.
It has not been proven that melontan can be held responsible for causing addictions. However, it is safe to assume it is not yet appropriate for human use. It is not safe until a pharmaceutical company has received authorization to sell the substance. As far as we can tell, nowhere in this world can melanotan be purchased legally.