TANNING ADDICTION AND TANOREXIA


Summer officially started and it generally signifies the most enjoyable time of the year. Most people welcome summer and spend most of their time outdoor. This is also the time when they take off their multiple layers of clothing and bask under the sun. I don’t wanna scrutinize the idea of summer but this is also the time when your skin tissue is more exposed to skin damage due to ultraviolet radiation. Many people patronize staying for long hours under the sun without skin protection despite being aware of the side effect of this practice. You might ask yourself, what drives this people to be obsessed and be hook with tanning? Tanners actually have this belief in their head that tan skin looks better. This perception gives way for them to abuse themselves while frequenting saloons. Making, tanning industry flourished. Most of the beach goers or beach habitues and even indoor tanners met the psychiatric definition of substance abuse.

Sun’s UV radiation has an addictive potential like alcohol and one might be dependent on the sun, This condition can be describe as Tanning Addiction, this is a behavior of a person that chronically and repetitively exposed themselves in the sun. They have an ultraviolet-light substance related disorder, which release a pleasure-giving endorphins that produce a euphoric like feeling that makes them addicted. Dr Hornung said in an interview that tanners showed signs of both physiological and psychological dependence with the cigarette smoking and heavy drinking, despite the knowledge of their dangers. while, Tanorexia is a term coined from the word anorexia nervosa. Tanorexic are those who participate in excessive outdoor sun tanning or excessive use of tanning methods ( tanning beds) to achieve darker complexion because they perceive themselves as unacceptably pale.The syndrome is different from tanning addiction but both may fit in the same syndrome and can be considered subset of tanning addiction. (Wikipedia)

In 2005, a group of dermatologist published a study showing that frequent tanners experience a loss of control over their tanning schedule displaying of addiction similar to smokers and alcoholics. Following that year a study conducted by Wake Forest University confirmed that tanning can be addictive and people who demonstrate repetitively tanning their skin despite being aware of the dangers are addicted to UV rays. Biochemical evidence indicates that tanning addicts are addicted to an opiod or endorphin release experience during tanning. when frequent tanners took an endorphin blocker or Naltrexone in 2006, they experience severe withdrawal symptoms. Mandeep kaur said, ” We’ve shown that some tanners actually experience withdrawal syndrome when the ‘feel-good’ chemicals are blocked.”

Many people think that having a tan skin can protect them from skin damage but what they do not know is that tan skin is a product of skin cell damage that could eventually lead to cancer. Prolonged and repeated exposure to the UV radiation have many negative effects on the skin including premature aging, that makes you look older than your actual age. There are growing number of victims of skin cancer and fatal melanoma. Dr Richard F. Wagner Jr., A dermatologist in University of Texas states ” As we age, the number of mutations increase and our immunity wanes.” this proves that there is likely an increase chance of skin cancer.

Indoor tanning can not be safer than sunbathing, Many experts believe that it is more dangerous because tanning beds use UVA rays which have been linked to melanoma a deadly type of skin cancer. Although, Tanners report mood enhancement, relaxation and socialization but we need to fully understand the consequences in various respects.

In conclusion, If you desire to be tan there are still means that are considered to be safe such as tanning lotions, sprays, and bronzing cosmetics, however I do not advice it. It is much better to be contented with the color of your skin.