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Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2010 Sep;36(5):284-90. doi: 10.3109/00952990.2010.491883.

Tanning as a behavioral addiction.

Author information

1
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Persistent tanning despite potentially fatal consequences suggests a compulsive behavior similar to other addictive disorders.

OBJECTIVES:

To review the literature supporting tanning addiction from an epidemiological, behavioral, and neurobiological perspective.

METHODS:

A comprehensive review of the medical literature was conducted to assess the health consequences of tanning, behaviors and other psychiatric disorders associated with tanning, and central rewarding effects of ultraviolet light.

RESULTS:

Many frequent tanners endorse signs and symptoms adapted from Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-IV (DSM IV) substance abuse or dependence criteria. Recent studies suggest biochemical mechanisms may reinforce ultraviolet light seeking behavior.

CONCLUSIONS AND SCIENTIFIC SIGNIFICANCE:

Frequent and persistent tanning may reveal itself to be a dermatologic-psychiatric disorder with carcinogenic sequelae. Multidisciplinary studies are required to determine the validity of an addiction diagnosis and to explore pharmacologic and cognitive therapeutic options for affected persons.

PMID:
20545604
DOI:
10.3109/00952990.2010.491883
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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