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Addiction to Tanning Physiological Not Just Mental - Tanners Becoming Younger - Good Morning America Segment Highlights Dangers

May 16th 2006

Addiction to Tanning Physiological Not Just Mental - Tanners Becoming Younger - Good Morning America Segment Highlights Dangers


Researchers have discovered that tanning can be addictive, just like drugs and alcohol.  Last year scientists compared frequent tanners and found that tanners that were given the drug naltrexone had withdraw symptoms, but those who got the drug did.  Naltexone blocks a narcotic-like substance produced in the skin during tanning. 

According to Daniel DeNoon of WebMD, the researchers found that a 50-milligram dose of naltrexone could cause physiological withdrawal: nausea, dizziness, and shaking.  This prompted the researchers to stop the study early.  Mandeep Kaur, MD said "In the beginning, we gave standard 50-milligram doses of naltrexone to frequent tanners.  All of them developed symptoms consistent with <withdraw>. So we had to stop that study."  Kaur is a dermatologist at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

ABC News Good Morning America recently ran a story about the addictive effects of tanning.  Dr. Steven Feldman said in reference to frequent tanners: “Their skin looks terrible: It's all loose, and wrinkled, and mottled-colored and leathery looking. And you ask these people, 'Why are you doing this to yourself?' and they say, 'Ahh, it makes me feel so good.' "


Evidently, tanning makes the skin give off endorphins.  These opiod compounds can make a person feel good.  The condition is similar to the high that endurance runners get. 

There are warning signs of a tanning addiction.  According to the ABC News program, doctors say there are three tell-tale signs of a tanning addiction: People can't stop tanning; they wake up in the morning and can't wait to go to the tanning bed; and they only become annoyed when people say they have a problem.


The report suggests that there may be a link between skin cancer and tanning.  Skin cancer is the fastest growing type of cancer.  Amazingly, in a more recent study at Wake Forest, when the tanners were given the choice between beds with UV rays and non-UV beds, without knowing the difference they all gravitated towards the UV beds. 

The report says that the tanning business is big, raking in more than $2 billion a year.  There is also a dangerous trend with young people. Thirty percent to 40 percent of 16- to 18 year-olds are tanning bed regulars.

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Dan Wilson
Best Syndication

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Important:  The material on Best Syndication is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. You should promptly seek professional medical care if you have any concern about your health, and you should always consult your physician before starting a fitness program.

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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                   Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:51 PM