Studies show that if fish can gain their sun protection by feeding on coral, then so can we. Scientists are currently working on a sunscreen pill that uses the chemicals found in coral, to protect the skin and the eyes from the sun’s harmful rays.
While the pill may take up five or more years to produce and distribute, the sunscreen pill aspires to replace the lotion that the skin requires an endless dosage of when in the sun. Paul Long, a senior lecturer in pharmaceutical science at King’s College London, is involved in a three-year-long investigation on Acropora microphthalma coral’s protection against sun rays.
Long said, "What we have found is that the algae living within the coral makes a compound that we think is transported to the coral, which then modifies it into a sunscreen for the benefit of both the coral and the algae."
As always when taking an oral medication, the concern of side effects arises. WebProNews contributor Todd Rigney wrote, “Having to contend with the oily aftermath of sunscreen lotion is one thing, congestive heart failure from a sunscreen pill is something else entirely.”
According to WebProNews, Scenesse is another sun block drug in the works, whose hormone ingredients increase melanin in the body. The melanin hormone helps block UV rays. Scenesse could take at least two years before release and distribution.
This pill may alleviate such problems like those Heather Gaskins faces as a mother and skin cancer survivor. Gaskin said, “Having had skin cancer before, we'll take all the time we can to protect ourselves and we don't stay out long.”
According to Eyewitness News, there are already tanning and sun protection pills in existence, but dermatologists say they do not give legitimate SPF protection.