Why Does Tanning Addiction Increase Chances of Cancer?
For those that live in a cold climate or who just feel they are too pale like to go to tanning salons to have the perfect tan. According to Addiction.com, 30 million Americans use sunlamps, tanning booths, and/or sunbeds to get a tan. Indoor tanning addicts never feel enough is enough when it comes to getting the right skin pigment. It is important for those who feel the need to tan to visit tanning salons in moderation to prevent the chances of getting sun cancer.
The good feeling that comes from indoor tanning is the relaxing sensation of chemicals released by the brain in response to the UV lighting in tanning beds. Another cause can come from having another psychiatric disorder such as anxiety, depression, OCD, body dysmorphic syndrome, and seasonal affective disorder. Those who have starting tanning since the age of thirteen or younger have a harder time quitting. The International Agency for Research on Cancer said those under the age of thirty that use tanning beds can increase their chances of melanoma by 75%. Even the World Health Organization does not recommend anyone under eighteen to use a tanning bed.
You know you have an addiction to indoor tanning if you tan three or four times a week or year round. Your mind is always occupied on whether you look tan enough and constantly planning on when to go for your next appointment. You miss out on important events to go to the tanning salon. You tend to spend a lot of money on creams and tans as well as tanning more than necessary. Being defensive is another addiction factor when told you are too tan, have wrinkled skin, or when asked not to tan. Even getting diagnosed with skin cancer would not stop you from tanning beds.
There is currently no treatment specifically for tanning addiction but you can check into cognitive behavioral therapy to target negative thoughts and feelings as well as treating underlying disorders like anxiety or depression that drives you to want to tan. Exposure and response prevention will try to exposure your fear of having pale skin while a therapist tries to reduces time spent in tanning salons. Psychotherapy can help come up with other activities to replace tanning like exercise to get the same endorphin boost, relaxation, meditation, and massages. Getting the perfect tan is not worth getting skin cancer.