Have You Heard of Tanorexia? - Page

  • Posted on: May 11 2012
  • By:

Dr. Asarch’s article on Tanning addiction was picked up by Always New You. Read the article below to learn more about “tanorexia”

Most of us are well aware of all the risks associated with the over exposure to UV rays.  Yet, many of us women are still hitting the tanning beds on a regular basis.  Learn what research has discovered about tanning and why you may feel like being tan is a necessity.

Are you Tanorexic?

Are You Addicted to Sun-Bathing, the Tanning Bed or Looking Tan?

Despite all the warnings and research related to sun exposure and resulting skin cancer, people still choose to be “tan”. An estimated one million Americans frequent tanning salons every day.
The need to “have a tan” can be an addiction called “Tanorexia”. A recent study found that individuals who tanned frequently reported that tanning is relaxing, improves their mood and makes them feel like they look “healthier”. A positive reward from a specific behavior such as sun bathing is omnipresent in an addict’s nature.

A compelling report in the journal Addiction Biology showed that people who frequently use tanning beds experience changes in brain activity during a tanning session that mimics the same brain activity patterns identified in drug addiction. In fact, the research showed that multiple parts of the brain that play a role in addiction were activated when the test subjects were exposed to UV rays.

Subjects were able to differentiate between being exposed to Ultraviolet light vs. exposure to light in which the UV component was filtered out. This may help explain why some people continue to tan frequently despite awareness about skin cancer and premature aging and wrinkles.

Even the most skin conscious of us have spent time in the sun we shouldn’t have. Either before we really knew the long term effects or just because we were not prepared when we should have been. By now you are aware of the necessity of sunscreen and UV protective clothing and are using these items to stay safe in the sun.

Are you “tanorexic”? Ask yourself these questions.

1. Do you need to tan in order to feel good?
2. Are you tanning more than 8 times in a month?
3. Do you have anxiety or become agitated if you cannot find a way to tan?
4. Are you frightened by the idea of quitting tanning?

If you answered yes to these questions, you might consider seeking addiction counseling. Tanorexia is a serious condition that can lead to an even more serious problem, skin cancer.

To your skin health,

Dr. Richard Asarch, M.D., Dermatologist, The Asarch Dermatology and Laser

Posted in: Blog Post

Contact Us