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Doctors warn against tan injections

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Amarillo, Texas - It's a product being advertised as a quick and safer alternative to tanning.

It's that time of year again where many people are trying to get that sun-kissed look. But is having the perfect tan worth injecting untested chemicals into your body?

"You can order them from the internet, and they're little syringes. You inject them and they're supposed to increase the melanocyte activity and give you a tan," Tamara Jarrous, Amarillo Laser and Vein Clinic says.

Melanotan II is available online, and often sold from companies overseas. It is advertised as effective in preventing skin cancer. But, the FDA and doctors say differently.

"Studies have shown they cause dizziness. People are getting very sick, it causes acne. They are not FDA approved and there's actually a warning from the FDA about using them," Jarrous says.

The FDA says there is no evidence that Melanotan II is safe and effective for its labeled uses. One death has been reported from it's use.

Local tanning salons we spoke with say although this product is marketed as a safe alternative to UV tanning, injecting anything into your body can be more harmful.

"Well I mean you're injecting yourself with something, and in a tanning bed it just penetrates the top three layers of your skin, and not getting in your blood stream at all," Emily Barber, Tan Electric Beach employee says.

There are safer alternatives to obtain the "perfect tan."

"I recommend spray tans if you really want to have a nice color, do some spray tans. There's some great products out there, some organic products that are healthy for your skin. And again there's nothing wrong with white," Jarrous says.

Doctors say sun in moderation is good. We need vitamin D, but injecting untested products into your body is not the answer.

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