Melanotan I, also known as afamelanotide, is a synthetic melanocyte stimulating hormone (a-MSH) which induces skin pigmentation through melanogenisis, melanin production. Melanin prevents cellular damage in the skin by absorbing, reflecting and refracting light. Melanotan I reduces sun damage to UV exposed skin transforming cells to produce dark protective melanin.
Melanotan I is used to prevent phototoxicity in people with a condition called erythropoietic protoporphyria, which is a deficiency of the enzyme ferrochelatase. People with this disorder experience pain when their skin is exposed to sunlight and some artificial lighting. Due to abnormally low levels of this enzyme, excessive amounts of protoporphyrin accumulate in the bone marrow, blood plasma, and red blood cells.
Melanotan I is used for enhanced skin tanning for certain light related skin indications, a prophylactic treatment for a series of light affected skin disorders and a potential skin cancer preventative agent.
Mechanism of Action
Melanotan I, when injected, works by replicating alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone in your body. The alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone binds to melanocortin receptors and induces the production of the pigment melanin in skin cells. Therefore, the more melanin your skin cells produce, the darker your skin will appear.
Research shows that Melanotan I exists longer in the body than Melanotan II before being broken down by enzymes. Melanotan II connects with a wider range of receptors than Melanotan I and has a shorter life in your body.
Mode of Administration: Subcutaneous injection to a fleshy part of the body, typically to the stomach or abdominal area. Melanotan I can also be administered with a nasal spray.
Before administering Melanotan I, always be sure to use a clean and sterile syringe.
- Hold the Melanotan I vial upright and insert the syringe in the center of the cap.
- Draw the plunger until you have the correct amount (see ‘Dosage’ below) in the syringe and carefully remove it.
- Before administering the syringe, use alcohol to cleanse the area of skin.
- Pinch the skin around the area to be injected, leave about 2 cm on each side.
- Hold the syringe at a 90 degree angle to your skin and swiftly insert the syringe.
- Depress the plunger fully, until the syringe is empty, and carefully draw out.
Dosage Amount:250mcg (0.25mg) – 2000mcg (2mg)
Dosage Frequency: Once daily
It may take weeks to months of administering Melanotan I to see results of your desired skin complexion.
The largest concern about tanning injections is that they are unregulated. Without proper regulation, there is no guarantee that the product being used has been properly labeled. Also, long term effects of Melanotan I is mostly unknown.
The most common side effects of Melanotan I, which are usually temporary, are: nausea, flushing of the skin, loss of appetite, and drowsiness or fatigue.
- Melanotan 1 can be safely combined with UV-B light or sunlight and appears to act synergistically in the tanning response to light
- Decrease in ultraviolet light exposure, found in sunlight and lights used in indoor tanning beds, which decreases the likelihood of skin cancers or other skin issues
- If desired, Melanotan I will darken and tan the complexion of the skin