WTAP @ 5 To Your Health Report: Tanning Addictive?

By: Christi Paul Email
By: Christi Paul Email

We all know tanning beds aren't really good for us.

Yet people can still be found catching these artificial rays.

Is vanity the culprit?

Or is something more powerful at play?

Here's Christi Paul with today's Health Minute.

Could tanning be addictive? That's what some researchers are saying. In a report out of this month's issue of Archives of Dermatology, they found certain people who have used indoor tanning facilities may actually be addicted to getting an artificial tan and could even show signs of substance abuse as well as symptoms of anxiety.

The study recruited 421 college students. All were given two questionnaires; one designed to screen for signs of tanning addiction, while the second screened for substance use, depression and anxiety. Out of the group, nearly half used indoor tanning. The average number of visits during the year was 23. They found that 90 students, or about 39 percent, actually showed some addiction to tanning and 70 students or about 36 percent showed signs of depression, anxiety and use of substances.

Researchers believe there could be a number of factors that cause people to constantly seek tanning, including mood issues, the need to socialize and be liked and the desire to look good. Because tanning makes them feel good, this constant exposure to UV light may have an effect like certain substances, such as alcohol have on others who abuse it. The study authors also noted that treating underlying mood disorders may be necessary in order to reduce skin cancer risks in some young people.

For today's Health Minute, i'm Christi Paul.

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