Scientists have made a drug that can copy how sunlight affects our skin. It tricks our skin into making it darker so we get a suntan. The drug gets our body to make a natural pigment called melanin. A pigment is what gives our skin its colour. Plants also have pigments that give them different colours. The scientists are from a hospital in the USA. They say their drug could be good for our health. The biggest benefits could be to prevent skin cancer and slow down how old people look. Getting a suntan can give us skin cancer, make our skin look old and give us wrinkles.
The scientists said the drug could safely give us a suntan because it has no harmful UV rays. UV rays burn our skin and damage it. The rays make light-skinned people turn red. The drug gets the body to make dark melanin. This darkens our skin and makes it look tanned. Melanin is the body's natural sunblock. It protects the skin from UV radiation and cancer. A researcher said the drug could help fight skin cancer. This is the most common type of cancer. The researcher said: "Dark pigment is associated with a lower risk of all forms of skin cancer."