A new and challenging problem now faces the medical profession with the introduction of a drug for cosmetic purposes alone. Within the coming year physicians may be required to appraise the usefulness and safety of methoxsalen, which is being offered to the profession as a drug to accentuate and accelerate tanning of the normal skin.
Since time began, man has had to devise ways and means to protect himself from the sun. In temperate climates this was not a serious problem, except for those whose occupations demanded prolonged exposure. However, since the social significance of a tanned skin has made it a desirable commodity, sunbathing has become a major leisure time activity for a large segment of our population. Consequently, a wide market exists for externally applied sunscreens which, if properly used, permit tanning while minimizing uncomfortable and disfiguring burns. It can be postulated that there is an even greater