Tanning Addiction: Is It Real?

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Tanning Addiction: Is It Real? featured image

Sometimes when I see people smoking I want to shake them. Don’t they know how deadly it is? Then again, many of us subject our bodies to unhealthy things, like too much alcohol and fast food. What I tend to forget is that cigarettes are addicting and addiction is much stronger than a warning label. Apparently, the same could be said of indoor tanning.

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, around 120,000 new case cases of melanoma are diagnosed in the U.S. each year. People under age 30 who use a tanning bed 10 times a year are eight times more likely to develop malignant melanoma, the most lethal form of skin cancer. Although the public is more aware than ever of the risks of tanning beds, regular use is still increasing. Why?

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have discovered that tanning may stimulate the brain in the same way that other bad-for-you habits like cigarettes and drugs do. “Using tanning beds has rewarding effects in the brain so people may feel compelled to persist in the behavior even though it’s bad for them,” said Dr. Bryon Adinoff, professor of psychiatry and senior author of the study.

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