Indoor Tanning Linked to Substance Abuse and Anxiety
The researchers note that being repeatedly exposed to UV light may have results that echo those cited by substance abusers: relaxation, increased socialization, and improved moods. The researchers suggested that those who participate in indoor tanning should be screened for anxiety and depression, writing that treating an underlying mood disorder such as depression may be an important step in reducing the risk of skin cancer among those who regularly use tanning beds.
Dr. Darrell Rigel, former president of the American Academy of Dermatology and currently a clinical professor of dermatology at New York University, agreed, saying that if tanning is an addictive behavior, the issue needs to be brought to light and treated with the same concern as drug and alcohol addiction is treated. “We have to bring in behavioral scientists who are addiction experts to come up with a better plan to deal with this issue,” he said.
Source: CNN, Georgiann Caruso, Indoor Tanning Linked to Addictive Behaviors, April 19, 2010.