Fake hair, nails, breasts, bums, noses, eyes, lashes, brows, the list is honestly endless.

With influencers and role models like the Kardashian-Jenners, Lil Kim, Khanyi Mbau and Mshoza, it's not hard to understand why more and more people are resorting to extreme measures such as going under the knife to achieve certain looks.

The latest extreme cosmetic procedure to do its rounds among the millions of other beauty treatments are melanin injections or what's called the "barbie drug". If you're wondering what melanin injections are, the answer is in the name. It is the process of injecting melanotan directly into the skin to achieve a darker skin tone.

But how exactly does it work?

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According to this Love Melanotan website, "Melanotan peptide is designed to highly stimulate the body's response to UV ray exposure, because melanin production is supercharged after injecting the melanotan, minimum sun exposure is required to gain maximum tanning effect."

So basically all you do is inject the chemical into your body and spend some time under the sun and voila, you're sporting a spectacular tan.

How healthy is it?

Many treatments carry certain risks, and melanin injections are no exception.

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According to Anex Bulletin, there's a dark side to melanin injections, and no, it's not the darkening of your skin but some serious dangers that come with injecting melanotan directly into your skin.

"There is no long-term research on the health impacts of the tanning products but people are willing to trade off the risks and the unpleasant side-effects to gain a tan. Some people may not even realise that there are negative side-effects as online sellers of the products often market them as safe and reliable.

“Side-effects include nausea, diarrhoea, darkening of freckles and moles, and even spontaneous erections", they report in the article.

“It is incredible that people are willing to risk their lives for a tan by injecting an illegal drug. Side-effects of melanotan 2 include nausea and vomiting. Users face high blood pressure, heart issues and blood disorders." said Dr Carol in this The Sun article.

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And even though they are illegal in most countries, these injections are becoming increasingly popular.

This German woman became an online sensation after she had injected herself with multiple melanotan shots in order to become a "black woman". Watch the video below.

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