'Tanorexia': The Dark Truth About Tanning Addiction
As popular the saying “tall, dark, and handsome” implies, a little bit of sun looks good on just about everyone. Because of this a multi-million dollar industry of tanning salons, spray tanning, and skin darkening creams have cropped up in recent years, and most Americans can now sport that sun-kissed glow in any season. While most salon patrons use tanning beds infrequently and responsibly, psychologists have noted a disturbing trend in people becoming addicted to tanning.
The syndrome informally dubbed “tanorexia” occurs when someone shows symptoms of being physically or psychologically addicted to sunbathing. A 2005 study conducted by researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston found that frequent tanners do indeed act much like people addicted to drugs or alcohol. One hundred and forty five beachgoers were asked questions about their tanning habits based off a four question survey designed for drug addicts. Under one criteria 26 percent of those interviewed qualified as "ultraviolet light (UVL) tanning dependent," but under a stricter American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) guidelines, over 53 percent were deemed sunbathing dependent.
While there are probably aesthetic, psychological, and social components that drives people to compulsively tan, scientists believe sun tanning also comes with a drug-like rush. Biochemical analysis of tanners’ body chemistry before and after tanning revealed an opioid endorphin release that could be considered a “tanner’s high.” A paper published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology in 2006 detailed a separate experiment where frequent sunbathers were given an endorphin blocker before tanning. Those affected were restless and irritable afterward, being deprived of the feel-good chemicals they usually associate with sunbathing.
Much of the recent publicity regarding tanning addiction stems from a New Jersey woman named Patricia Krentcil. The blond haired, green-eyed Krentcil looks like a normal Caucasian mom except that her skin’s the color of a tarnished penny due to a tanning addiction. After appearing on several television news shows including Good Morning America, she’s been subject of media attention, jokes, impersonations, and now an unflattering action figure distributed by Connecticut-based toymaker HeroBuilders.
While Krentcil claims her hue has a much to do with alternatives to tanning booths as UV light tanning, her celebrity has led to increased scrutiny on her sunbathing habits. As of May over sixty New Jersey area tanning salons are turning her business away, claiming that she needs help and that her patronage is bringing bad press. Worse still, Krentcil is being charged with reckless child endangerment after her five-year-old daughter showed friends sunburn on her arm and mentioned tanning with her mother.
Dermatologists are now using the tanorexia story to warn people about the dangers of skin cancer. Currently, skin cancer eclipses all other forms of cancer; over two million Americans are diagnosed each year and rates are rising. Research conducted by New York dermatologists indicates rates of melanoma within the state have increased by 72 percent in the past ten years. “It's no coincidence that we're facing a melanoma crisis at the same time there's a proliferation of indoor tanning salons," Russ Sciandra, the director of advocacy at the American Cancer Society of New York told The Village Voice. "Indoor tanning increases risk of developing cancer." Dermatologists strongly suggest those looking for the perfect bronzed look turn to non-carcinogenic alternatives like spray tanning and lotions instead, and that anyone who plans to be in direct sunlight for over fifteen minutes apply a UVA and UVB blocking sunscreen SPF 40 or higher.
Are you interested in tanning, skincare advice, or new ways to cosmetically enhance the appearance of your skin? If so, contact us today. Our representatives are standing by to book your free consultation at one of our skincare clinics near you!
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Skin Care for Your Skin Type
Six Tips for Getting Rid of Acne
4 Ways to Improve Your Skincare Routine
Science Improves Understanding of How Skin Products Work
Which Vitamin Supplements Can Help Your Skin?
3 Ways to Reduce Discolored Underarms
How Do Pro Athletes Keep Their Skin Looking Great?
4 Ways to Make Your Skin Look Terrific
5 Worst Foods for Your Skin
Dry or Dehydrated? Know The Difference and Keep Your Skin Healthy This Winter
How to Develop a Simple Daily Skincare Routine
Managing Your Microbiome Can Help Boost Your Skin
Rare Disease Healed by Laboratory Grown Skin
Six Foods to Boost Your Skin
Changing Your Diet to Better Your Skin
Argan Oil for Superb Skin
Making Your Own Skin-Essential Rosewater at Home
New Skincare Line Offers a Powerful Solution for Those with Sensitive Skin
7 Simple Dos and Don'ts to Improve Your Skin
Addressing Your Pre-Wedding Skincare Needs
Homemade Recipes for Healthy Hair and Skin
4 Amazing Ingredients to Include in DIY Skincare Treatments
Can You Improve Your Skin by Doing Yoga?
The Benefits of Yogurt for Skin (Internally and Externally)
9 Top Foods for Terrific Skin
The Future of Dermatology Procedures 2017 Scholarship – Healthy Skin Portal
11 Easy Ways to Keep Skin Looking Terrific
Tips for Eating Chocolate and Not Harming Your Skin
Summer Skincare Essential: Face and Body Scrubs
Seven Foods for Terrific Skin
6 Amazing Tricks to Improve Your Skin
What are the Best Treatments for Your Skin?
Are Your Daily Habits Destroying Your Skin?
ASA Offers Up Seven Principles for Healthy Skin
Does the Wrong Mix of Skin Bacteria Cause Acne?
Can Probiotics Help Acne?
How Do Celebrities Keep Their Skin Looking Great?
What Should You Be Eating to Help Your Skin?
7 Korean Beauty Products That You Should Own
It's Time to Get Ready for Great Looking Summer Hair and Skin
Six Skincare Tips from Different Cultures
Top Beauty Tips on a Budget
Three Simple Mistakes That Could Be Ruining Your Skin
Essential Ingredients for a Great Complexion
Six Foods to Help Hydrate Your Skin
New Ideas for Morning Skincare
The Surprising New K-Beauty Super Ingredient: Watermelon
Five Simple Foods to Boost Your Skin
Keeping Your Skin Healthy in the Summer
Top Skincare Tips for Guys
5 Amazing Skincare Products That Are Cruelty-Free
The Best Selling Beauty Product on Amazon Will Surprise You
How Does Stress Impact Your Skin?
4 Acids That Will Actually Help With Your Skin
Want Better Skin? Here Are Six Foods to Help You Get It
What You Need to Do to Keep Great Skin for Life
How Much Skin Should Be Removed With a Mole?
Is Your Pillowcase Destroying Your Skin?
Jessica Alba's Skincare Line
Fall and Winter Skincare for Men
How to Create An Effective Daily Skincare Routine
4 Supplements You Should Be Using for Your Skin
Collagen Powder: The Next Skincare Secret or Another Passing Fad?
How Do You Pick The Right Moisturizer?
7 Ways to Protect Your Skin This Winter
8 Top Smoothie Ingredients for a Radiant Complexion
Five Water-Rich Foods Your Skin Needs
Uncovering the Secret of the Japanese 4-2-4 Cleansing Technique
Avocados: A Very Healthy Fruit
Using Superfood-Enhanced Beauty Products
Six Tips to Avoid Bad Skin Days
New Technology Allows Restoring of Your Own Collagen and Elastin
How to Slow the Skin's Aging Process
Important Supplements for Aging Skin
How Dermatologists Take Care of Their Skin
How Traditional Thanksgiving Foods Affects Your Skin
How to Use Chocolate to Get Better Skin
Simple Life Hacks for Your Skin
Natural Remedies to Keep Your Skin Looking Great This Winter
Organic Skin Care on the Rise
Little-Known Skincare Rules That Everyone Should Follow
Probiotics for Great Skin
A Supermodel's Skincare Secrets
Your Skin-Friendly Grocery List
Could Oil Cleansing Save Your Skin?
Beauty Device Market Set to Rise in Coming Years
How to Keep Your Skin Radiant Even in Winter
Using Collagen to Improve Your Skin
Night Cream: The Key to Healthy Winter Skin
Beauty Brands Harnessing the Power of Superfoods
4 Ways Alcohol Damages Your Skin
How Probiotics Help Skin
4 Ways to Maintain Flawless Skin in the Dead of Winter
Microbiome Imbalance in Gut May Lead to Acne
The Best Diet for Terrific Hair and Skin in Winter
Is Coconut The Key to Healthier Skin?
Celebrities Struggle with Acne Too
Essential Winter Skin Care
Six Ways to Improve Your Skin
What You Need for a Skin-Friendly Diet
Cinnamon for Skin Health
Five Simple Steps to Healthier Skin
Why Vaseline is Still An Excellent Choice for Skincare
Dermaplaning Myths Debunked
What Are The Best Ways to Deal with Blackheads?
Say Goodbye to Dry Skin
Yoga Can Help Your Skin
Using a K-Beauty Routine to Tackle Eczema
What is Your Skin Barrier and How Can You Protect It?
Five Top Foods for Maintaining Healthy Skin
Little-Known Tricks to Give You Better Skin
How Can Ayurveda Principles Help Your Skin?
Five Foods with Top Beauty Benefits
How Hypertension Can Destroy Your Skin
Get Your Skin Ready for Summer
3D Printing Could Replace Skin Grafts
Adjusting Your Vitamin D Levels During The Summer
Using Orange Peels to Improve Your Skin
Carotenoids: The Secret to Healthy Skin
Your Greatest Ally in the Quest for Flawless Skin: Vitamin C
Japanese Skincare Routine May Outshine Popular Korean Routine
Six Ways to Help Your Skin Beat The Summer Heat
Consume Fruit for Radiant Skin
New Study Shows Importance of Key Enzyme in Skin Diseases
Bad Habits to Break for Great-Looking Skin
Papaya for Skin Care
Five Fun Ways to Get More Watermelon in Your Diet
Busting Skincare Myths
Tips for Achieving Glowing Skin
Giving Your Skin That Alkaline Glow
Vitamin C for Healthy Skin
What Can Mushrooms Do For Your Skin?
Vitamin E: The Secret to Beautiful Skin
Regular Facials Keep Skin in Top Condition
Top Foods for Glowing Skin
The Power of Magnetic Masks
Five Top Vitamins for Great Hair, Skin and Nails
When to Ditch Old Makeup
What Do Experts Recommend for Your Skin?
Maple Leaf Extract May Prove The Next Anti-Wrinkle Miracle Ingredient
Does Your Skincare Routine Need a Cat-Face Towel? Absolutely!
Six Overnight Skincare Products for Daytime Beauty
How a 22-Year-Old Created an Empire of Vegan Skincare Products
Revolutionary New Process Could Help Regrow Damaged Skin
Does The Key to Beautiful Skin Lie in Your Gut?
How to Have Truly Healthy Skin
Five Tricks Everyone Should Know to Keep Their Skin Looking Great
The New Three-Minute Skincare Routine
Nine Foods That Improve Skin
Cold Weather Skin Tips
Do You Want Amazing Skin? Here's Your Beverage Guide
Drinking Coffee Can Actually Help With Rosacea