Index Home About Blog
From: ((Steven B. Harris))
Subject: Re: Tanning suggestions???
Date: 14 May 1995

In <3p3j0o$> (Laurence Gilbert) writes:

>Dwight H. Barbour ( wrote:
>: Anyone have tanning suggestions?  If so, please post.
>: thankx.
>Sit in the sun.

I suggest you DON'T sit in the sun, but use one of those hydroxyacetone
containing sunless lotions instead.  Generally with some experimentation
you can find an adequate one.  When in the sun, use a good sunblock, like
bullfrog or photoplex.

The melanin your skin makes on sun exposure is its reaction to having
your DNA cross-linked and mutated by UV radiation from a badly shielded
thermonuclear reactor.  It's a damage control process, and it means you
ARE doing damage.  Don't.  Unless you don't mind looking like a
saddlebag with tumors in later life.

                                                  STeve Harris, M.D.

From: ((Steven B. Harris))
Subject: Re: Tanning with Canthaxanthine
Date: 14 Jun 1995

In <> (Mike Davis)

>In article <3qt571$>, Tim Leon Glaze  \"Wombat Man\"
><> wrote:
>> Has anyone used this drug ??
>> Is it available in the USA over the counter????
>I tried it many years ago. It would not evenly distribute in my tissues
>so I ended up with red hands and feet. Beta carotene seems to have the
>same preference for when I want the orange hand and foot look. Now that
>it's known to cause crystals in the retina with high dosages I wouldn't
>take it for tanning, I have the Union Carbide blurb on this somewhere. It
>can still be had from Wholesale Nutrition as can the canthaxanthin update
>mentioned. Their address is on my web site, you can get there without
>Mike Davis))) Medical Ultrasound Transducers
>Alt.Health, Life Ext., other Stuff

Interestingly, the retina has no beta-carotene in it, either.
The main macular carotenoid pigments are lutein, the red stuff in
tomatoes, and zeaxanthin, the yellow stuff in corn.  Possibly
canthaxanthine just overloads one of these other carotenoid transport
systems.  There have been suggestions of visual acuity changes in people
with retinal canthaxanthin buildup also, as I recall (don't know if it
ever panned out).  The whole thing a wonderful example of why Pearson
and Shaw's cookbook biochemistry with weird molecules may not be very
safe. I sugggest life extenders stick to vitamins, amino acids, and
plant extracts from things people have eat a lot of for centuries (green
tea, wine polyphenols, etc, etc).  Beyond that, I wouldn't dare take
anything that hadn't at least been tested in a lifespan study on

                                            Steve Harris, M.D.

From: ((Steven B. Harris))
Subject: Re: I Want to Go Out In the Sun...
Date: 28 Apr 1995

In <> (E Hagan)

>When I want that "healthy" look I have found that there are some products
>now that provide that look artificially without need for any sun. I
>believe most of the dye in them comes from walnuts. They are easy to use
>and they look fine. I have had NO adverse reaction from them. Even fooled
>my teenage nieces whom I haven't been able to convince to avoid yearly
>These products require a little planning, but MUCH less time to get the
>tanned look than sun bathing.

Actually, the active ingredient is hydroxyacetone.  I also recommend it.
 Play around with the different products-- they aren't all equivalent.
You'll find one you like, eventually.  And do wear that sunblock, if you
don't want to look like Clint Eastwood's favorite saddle in 20 years.

                                            Steve Harris, M.D.

Subject: Re: Trisoralen (Trioxsalen)
From: (Steve Dyer)
Date: Sun, 25 Apr 1999 21:06:27 GMT

In article <7fvisb$feo$>,  <> wrote:
>Ok, i've read all about Trisoralen in the PDR and I understand that it is a
>pretty potent drug.  I appreciate the risk inherent in taking it.  Now, with
>that said, I am looking for some real-life experiences with the stuff.	Now,
>I am not white as a ghost, but I do not tan unless I have a long exposure
>with the sun (I did get tan one summer in high school when I was working
>construction). Does Trisoralen really work?  If yes, will it look natural or
>will I look like a freak (more so than I already am)?  How long do the
>results last?

Psoralens are photosensitizers; essentially, they make your skin more
sensitive to sunlight (think of them as substances with a negative SPF)--
a brief exposure which would otherwise have no observable effects on
your skin might cause redness after taking the drug, a longer exposure
could produce a more severe sunburn that it would otherwise.  The idea
behind the use of oral trioxalen in otherwise healthy individuals (at least
30+ years ago) was to stimulate melanin production in people who are
prone to burning without tanning, but it's a delicate balancing act.
Now that you understand how it promotes tanning, you should be able to
get a sense of the results it can produce.  It's not a pigment like
canthaxanthin, so you don't end up orange.  But the danger of a severe
sunburn is always there, and we know a whole lot more about UV exposure
and how psoralens work these days.

As you might know, psoralens are used together with controlled UVA
exposure to treat severe psoriasis resistant to other therapies.
In these cases, the disease is much worse than the cure.
Psoralens are also found in some plants and foods, such as celery,
limes and bergamot (the aromatic oil in Earl Grey tea), and have
been the cause of inadvertent phototoxicity in people whose skin
has come in contact with the juice.

Psoralens work by intercalcating between the strands of DNA,
are "activated" by light, and the resulting free radical bonds to the
base pairs, forming a bridge between the strands, leading to cell
damage or cell death.  That is, aside from the direct UV damage,
psoralens make it more likely that a given UV exposure will cause
_more_ damage.  Doesn't seem worth it for a tan, IMHO.

Steve Dyer

Index Home About Blog