by Michelle

Study: Tanning Beds are Addictive

January 26, 2016

By Dr. Leslie Baumann

There’s absolutely no upside to basking in the sun. Not only does it make you looks years older than you really are, you’re putting yourself at increased risk for skin cancer. Indoor tanning (i.e. tanning beds) are even worse, since the bulbs in tanning beds emit mostly UVA light, while natural sunlight is a combination of UVA and UVB rays. UVA light penetrates deeper than UVB light and causes more of the DNA damage that contributes to skin cancer. You do not turn red from UVA rays, so you do not realize the damage that you are causing.

There’s always been talk about tanning addiction, especially in dermatological circles, and this theory has been substantiated by research. One particular study analyzed a variety of substance abuse models to see whether tanning met those criteria. The study found that in some individuals, tanning is equivalent to substance-related disorders. Trial studies also have recognized withdrawal symptoms in frequent tanners.

I can’t emphasize enough that using tanning beds is asking for trouble. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) and the World Health Organization, indoor tanning raises the risk of melanoma (the deadliest form of skin cancer), and this risk increases with each use.

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