Study Finds Tanning is Addictive

Posted on April 3, 2006

A new study that reveals some people continue the unhealthy practice of tanning because its gives them a high. The study found that tanning makes the skin release endorphins similar to "runner's high." There are also withdrawal symptoms when people try and quit tanning.

Information about the study from the Archives of Dermatology can be found on the JAMA network. It involved 145 beachgoers at Galveston Island Beach.

Richard Wagner Jr., MD, deputy chairman of dermatology and director of dermatologic surgery at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, is the author of the report. He is quoted by Fox News as saying, "This is a new idea, and we didn't know how it would turn out," states Wagner. "It's interesting that by slightly modifying tools used to identify substance-related disorders, we can actually see an objective similarity between regular tanning and disorders."

145 beachgoes were surveyed and 26% showed some signs of tanning addiction according to the researchers. 53% of the beachgoers qualified as being addicted to ultraviolet light according to the researchers.

Tanning is no longer necessary even for those who want the "tan look" because of all the self-tanning products available. Now that there is a reported addictive quality to sun tanning and tanning beds maybe frequent tanners will be able to overcome these addictions.

Note: A recent report from the Skin Cancer Foundation says a more recent study found one in five young white women that have used a tanning bed in the past year exhibit signs of addiction to the use of UV tanning beds.

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