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Clin Exp Dermatol. 2011 Jan;36(1):33-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2230.2010.03882.x.

Addictive-like behaviours to ultraviolet light among frequent indoor tanners.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, University of Texas South-western Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA.



Frequent, purposeful exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light may induce a compulsive desire to tan despite the negative consequences being known, suggesting a behavioural complex similar to addictive disorders.


To assess the presence of addictive-like behaviours in subjects using indoor tanning salons.


Subjects (n = 100) were surveyed by two questionnaires: a modified CAGE questionnaire to assess behaviours consistent with problem tanning and a modified Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSM-IV) ('substance dependence' criteria) to assess behaviours consistent with a dependence-like disorder.


In total, 41% of subjects met criteria consistent with a 'tanning addictive disorder', and an additional 33% met criteria for problematic tanning behaviour based on the modified CAGE criteria or subthreshold criteria on the modified DSM-IV criteria. Female gender and early age of onset were associated with meeting tanning addiction criteria.


A high percentage of subjects who tan frequently in indoor salons experience behaviours and consequences to their tanning consistent with other identified addictive disorders.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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