Have you ever wondered why your loved one can’t get enough of the tanning bed? They are, after all, very health conscious, they don’t smoke, they exercise and eat an organic diet. Why then would they continue to use tanning beds knowing the potential risks? Science can shed some new light on the subject.
According to a recent study, tanning beds may have people “hooked” for more than cosmetic reasons. With risks such as premature aging, skin cancer or even death associated with tanning beds, the scientific community has long thought that tanning could possibly be addictive. Now, new research provides evidence to back-up this theory.
Dr. Bryon Adinoff, professor of psychiatry at the University of Texas South Medical Center and leader of the tanning addiction study featured in journal Addiction Biology, says the brain is responding to UV light. It’s triggering the areas that are linked with reward. The same areas that activate when someone takes a drag off a cigarette or eats a sweet treat.
To reach this conclusion, Dr. Adinoff and his team assembled a group of frequent tanning bed users and monitored their brain activity during tanning bed use. The users were split into two groups: group one used beds with real UV rays; and group two, without being told, used tanning beds with fake UV light. The results were clear. The subjects in the real UV tanning beds showed brain activity in the reward and addiction areas.
So now, just like in the 80’s, we can repeat the slogan “Just Say No.”
Just Say No – To Tanning!