Many people are convinced that they have "tanorexia," or an addiction to tanning. And a new study suggests they might be right. Researchers have believed for several years that tanners exhibit similar behavior to alcoholics and drug addicts. Dr. Ariel Ostad is a Manhattan board certified Dermatologist and Cosmetic Dermatologic Surgeon. He is also a co-author of a textbook entitled “Practical Management of Skin Cancer.” (Lippincott-Raven, 1998). Ostad wants the public to be aware that this addiction can be as physically harmful as any other. Dr. Ostad points out that, “The most deadly skin cancer- melanoma, is more common, and kills women predominantly in their 20s. This is life or death." Each year melanoma kills more than 9,000 people. Researchers say that people under the age of 30 who use a tanning bed 10 times a year have eight times the risk of developing melanoma.Psychiatrists now believe that certain regions of the brain we know are partially responsible for drug and alcohol addiction seem to have increased blood flow when you put UV [ultraviolet] light in front of these individuals who are known for frequent tanning. Now scientists say they've seen that addiction firsthand, by peering into the brain. According to findings due to be released in the Journal: Addiction Biology, scientists at University of Texas' Southwestern Medical Center examined a group of tanners undergoing a regular, indoor tanning session.
Bottom line, don't start, and you won't get addicted. Take care of your skin, it's the only one you got!