The Truth About Tanning Tablets

Is there really a magic pill that aims to offer a perfect tan in less the time and effort? With tanning tablets here and there, people are getting hopes from the magic of these tablets. However, before you start trusting these pills, discover what they can do first and whether or not they are safe to use.

Tanning Pills

Tanning pills work to promote the production of melanin in the body. Melanin is the substance responsible for giving the skin its color. The higher the amount of melanin is, the darker the skin becomes. Today, there are two kinds of tanning pills in the market and both of them works differently towards giving you a tan.

The first type uses carotenoids, which are natural pigments that give the skin a tan. However, this skin color is fake as it does not affect the body’s melanin production. Hence, the tan fades once the intake of the tanning tablets is stopped. This tanning pill works by distributing a substance called canthaxanthin throughout the body. The substance also attaches itself to the fat cells that are located just under the skin. This is then darkened by the pigment and shows through the skin for an instant tan.

The second type of tanning pills are known as melanin supplements. These use an active ingredient called tyrosine, which synthesizes the melanin production in the skin during and after UV exposure. Unlike the first type of tanning pills, this offers a tan that is real and can offer some protection against UV exposure.

Overmedicated
Photo by Noel A. Tanner

The Right Dosage

The right dosage of tanning tablets depends on the type of pill you are taking. For instance, if you are going for the fake tan offered by the first type of tanning pills, this dosage must be followed depending on your weight, which is as follows:

less than 100 lbs 4 tablets a day
100 to 159 lbs 5 tablets a day
160 to 200 lbs 6 tablets a day
more than 200 lbs 7 tablets a day

On the other hand, when you are taking the other kind of tanning pill, dosage is usually one capsule per day.

Are They Safe?

There are a lot of concerns about the safety of tanning pills for human consumption. For instance, the substance canthaxanthin, which is used in most tanning pills is not approved by the FDA. Tanning pills containing this substance are considered products that are unsafe for human consumption because of the use of unsafe color additives.

Moreover, the use of tanning pills can offer adverse side effects. In 1993, for instance, the American Pharmacy reported a side effect such as the canthaxanthin-induced retinopathy or the deposition of crystals in the eye. Though this condition is reversible, the crystal deposits can last seven years even after discontinuation of the use of the tanning pills. Other reported effects of tanning tables include cramping, nausea, diarrhea, welts, severe itching, gastrointestinal discomfort, aplastic anemia, and discoloration of the palms of hands, soles of feet, and stool.

There are various ways to get a tan these days, which includes tanning tables, sun exposure, spray tanning, and tanning beds. However, always make sure that your tanning method is not only effective but also safe all the time for your best advantage.

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