Is there a medication that will darken the skin?

This might be a stupid question, but I have no idea if such a thing could exist or not, so I figured it was worth asking.

I am very pale. This might not be so irritating to me if I wasn’t part Native. I constantly have people, Native and non-Native alike, comment on how pale I am. I have tried since I was a kid to tan; I only burn. After I burn, it peels and it’s pale underneath again. I’ve tried the rub-on tanners, all different brands, and lots of very expensive ones, but I’m so pale that it only makes me look fake-tan orange. My dad had melanoma a few years ago (he’s ok now), which makes my risk of skin cancer much higher, so even trying to tan naturally is not just futile for me, it’s dangerous.

Frankly, I’m sick of it and would gladly take a medication that would darken my skin (uniformly, of course), just to get people to shut the hell up. Does such a thing exist?

I don’t know what was used, but there was a long-ago nonfiction book called “Black Like Me” where a Caucasian guy took something that made his skin as dark as an African-American’s and he wrote about his experiences. It was a very interesting read, but I don’t remember what was used.

It must have been pretty effective, though, and maybe this will give you a starting place.

ETA: I found it on Wikipedia–

Yep - the anti-vitiligo drug Oxsoralen as taken by John Griffin in preparation to write his book Black Like Me.

My understanding is that it’s rather bad for you though (liver damage I think) so that may not be the best bet.

What did the author use in Black Like Me?
ETA: Never mind.

I remember reading somewhere (might have been his obit) that his death a decade or two later was actually caused by the long-term aftereffects of his having used this drug. Dunno if it’s true or not.

Those of you who were devotees of Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw back in the eighties will undoubtedly remember canthaxanthin. It supposedly turns your skin a lovely albeit weirdass shade of bronzeish-pink.

Snopes sez nopes.

But it sounds like taking Oxsoralen by itself isn’t enough – you would still have to undergo a regimen of massive UV exposure, right?

I find it mind-boggling that you think a little time in the sun’s side effects are too dangerous but you’ll consider a long term, regular drug regimen?

I think the wisest solution is very slow, controlled doses of good olde UV radiation. 15 minutes in a tanning bed at a time. 30 minutes laying outdoors. Give yourself a day off in between. You won’t burn and you will tan eventually, but it takes time and consistency just as if you were working out. If those exposures cause a burn then back off to shorter and even more frequent doses.

You could go in for some major tattooing:


http://www.theage.com.au/ffximage/shoko_narrowweb__300x381,2.jpg (Mildly NSFW)
http://www.eqgroup.com/images/Tattoo-women.jpg (Mildly NSFW)

Won’t make you less pale, but people will be too distracted to comment, and you can get it to look native just fine if you find the right artist.

AMG are we related? I have Native American ancestors, and my older brother is very dark, yet I am as pale as a non-albino person can be. I tell my brother that he used up all the Native genes.

Just like the OP I’ve been searching for a solution to the “pale” problem. If you don’t tan, you don’t tan, and no amount of sun will do it. A few years ago my skin bothered me so much I was considering the vitiligo drug. I even tried asking for it at a dermatologists’, to no avail. Most of the self-tanners don’t work very well on me either. Amazon Floozy Goddess, I’ve heard that airbrush tanning is awesome and I will try it when I have the money.

What happened to the “Barbie” pill that was being tested in Australia?

You could do collidal silver if you don’t mind being blue.

This may qualify as “duh!”, but virtually any amount of tanning of the skin is bad. A tanned skin is damaged skin, I believe. I know that it’s good for you to get about 10-15 minutes a day for vitamin D (I think?), but once the skin has turned brown, damage has occurred. Please let me know if I’m wrong, though!

Actually, I have been looking into this. A few years ago I lost all the pigment on my hands, knees, and a few other patches due to vitiligo. I spend a ton of time outdoors, and have been using SPF50 sunscreen and kayaking gloves. Any sun exposure makes the areas burn.

I am thinking about having the backs of my hands tattooed a light brown, to match how they were before vitiligo.

From this site:

How about Green?

A little Gamma Bomb blast would not only give you great color, but pecs from hell.

I don’t tan very well either. I decided long ago that it’s not worth the time to try to get a tan. I’d be careful with synthetic tans, you could end up like these guys

I have to say that I find this one, along with the people who want to get rid of their freckles, really hard to understand. I am extremely, ghostly pale, and I have freckles. I have never thought of either of those two things as anything but unique and cool. Even if you’re part Native, that’s in your genes, and only a tiny bit of your genetic code is expressed in your physical appearance. In various cultures (Victorian England is only one example), pale has been prized. Think of a Japanese actress wearing stark white makeup to heighten her beauty. These days, with knowledge of skin cancer, pale skin is sign of health as well as a certain kind of beauty.

The next time someone comments on your pale skin, just say, “Yes, isn’t it lovely? I’m so glad that I have this beautiful alabaster complexion.” In 50 years, when we’re forced to spend all our time inside or heavily shaded from the sun to avoid severe burns, everyone will want to look like we do.

Airbrush tanning works but is no protection, of course.

There are pills that contain carrot extract. They make you slightly orange.

Eat more carrots, then. Not too many mind you.

Quoted for truth. And someone, somewhere wishes they had your very skin tone. I struggled during my teen years with my light olive complexion, owing at least partially I’m sure to being in an area where I was conspicuously brown and treated to a variety of questions and comments about my ethnicity ranging from the curious to the rude to the downright derogatory. My husband is the opposite - having been raised in East LA, he yearns for a tan feeling entirely too pale in comparison to the regional standard. I think I finally talked him away from the sunless tanner after I took him into natural light with a big mirror (because 8 years of praising his beautiful complexion did jack shit of course).

Love yourself and shine 'em on.

perhaps you are normal and its others who have issues. im certain time will show this to be true… to be bombarded with negative energy constantly would be irritating and if you can take this energy and funnel it towards something or shunt it… sigh youll figure it out