Tanning agent messes with melanoma detection

A popular injectable tanning agent is making melanoma detection more difficult, dermatologists say.

The unlicensed synthetic melanocortin product (Melanotan-II) is often bought illicitly by patients who use the hormonal product for its semi-permanent skin tanning effects.

However, dermatologists from the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne say its increasing popularity is a public health concern because it may cause sudden changes in skin lesions that mimic melanoma.

Writing in the Australasian Journal of Dermatology,

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