Melanotan II - Getting a Sexy Tan

October 04, 2020

Melanotan II -Get a Really SEXY Tan

Melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH) is what makes you tan. Nifty, huh? Can you imagine tanning without the sunburn? It turns out MSH has a ton of other features, like all hormones, that are even more important than tanning. It plays a critical role in gut integrity, chronic pain, chronic fatigue syndrome, and CIRS (Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome). This shouldn't be surprising as all these molecules come from chopping up POMC (proopiomelanocortin) in the pituitary in one piece or another. There are some 17 pituitary hormones that come out of POMC, depending on what pieces it is cleaved into and where it is made. Altering POMC's pieces for variable effects has been a hot topic since the 1960s.  Tanning is just one.  

With that in mind, tanning would be a nice effect, if you could control it. Researchers at the University of Arizona, trying to accomplish that, embarked on trying to get the tanning component isolated. They basically abandoned the idea in 2002 as there were too many "adverse" side effects: nausea, moles instead of tan, yawning, and stretching. But in the meantime, rats given it in the lab demonstrated increased sexual activity. One of the researchers gave himself a dose (and made a dosing error, getting a double dose) and had a subsequent 8-hour erection. Really!

With that discovery, various companies fought over patent rights but a company called Palatin has emerged with a slightly altered fragment called bremelanotide. It has been FDA approved for female sexual arousal disorder under the brand name Vyleesi. It is now the first drug on the market aimed at women. It is the same thing as PT-141, used in men for erectile difficulty and available from many peptide houses that make it in various forms. Recent interest in intranasal administration makes it much easier to take than an injection. But all forms do have some dosing issues with nausea being an issue with some folks.  Injections can be altered in amount whereas a nasal spray is trickier to alter.

But what about the tanning? It doesn't take too much time on Google to find images of folks who have taken "too much melanotan II" to think perhaps that isn't a good idea. No commercial company will touch it, for all those reasons.

But various peptide houses still sell it as a sexual enhancer. And if you don't get nauseated too much, and you can stand the stretching and yawning feeling, it works. Men do get erections from it that nothing else appears to provide. Is it a nitch compound that can be used safely? I would advise against it. You are messing with your "gearbox" when you stimulate all those receptors the POMC system plugs into. The long term effects are just a little too unknown.

But isn't it nice to have a nice, flakey topic in the middle of a pandemic, election chaos, social angst, and general, all-around stress? It's a hard time. We need Arlo Guthrie to sing, "Hard Times Come Again No More." Listen to that as my take away. Music and art are good for your soul.

www.What will work for me. I see my dermatologist enough to not want any more moles or skin disorders. I don't need to tan. And it sounds like the PT-141 version is a safer product for men and women. The nasal administration form only comes in one dose and is more difficult to alter for those who get nausea as a side effect. We all need human touch and "skin-time" in these Hard Times. Let's get through them, with some kindness and tolerance for one another.

References: Wikipedia, Wikipedia - POMC, PLOS1, BBA, BMCNeurology,

Pop Quiz

1. What is Melanotan II?                     Answer: The original fragment of MSH that was initially researched, trying to find "tanning with a shot" instead of sunlight.

2. Did it work?                                Answer: yes, but variably with too many side effects.

3. What were the side effects?                          Answer: Irregular tanning with the emergence of extra moles, nausea, stretching and yawning.

4. Does it work on anything else?                         Answer: Well yes: it induces an increase in sexual desire in men and women.

5. Is there a safer alternative?                       Answer: Yes. Bremelanotide or PT-141 is on the market as Vyleesi and works on sexual desire in men and women. Vyleesi doesn't make you tan. It works centrally and allegedly doubles the likelihood of a satisfactory response.