Addicted to tanning: When it’s about more than achieving ‘a healthy glow’

Both genetic and psychiatric parts might play a component in tanning “addiction,” in accordance with present analysis from Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.

“In our research, we found that people with certain genotypes in DRD2 dopamine receptor genes are at higher risk of indoor tanning addiction, and those with elevated depressive symptoms are, too,” lead creator and affiliate professor of oncology Darren Mays, Ph.D., knowledgeable Healthline.


“We also found some evidence of an ‘interaction’ between these two factors, meaning those with certain genotypes in DRD2 genes and elevated depressive symptoms may be at even greater risk,” he talked about.

Mays and colleagues analyzed survey responses from almost 300 non-Hispanic white women throughout the Washington, D.C. area, who had been ages 18 to 30 and who used indoor tanning beds, sunlamps, or photovoltaic cubicles.

The members responded to questions about values and behaviors which can predispose a person to a tanning behavior, as well as to questions to resolve if they had indicators of melancholy.

“Some of the self-report questions we used to measure factors that put people at risk of other addictions. For example, psychiatric comorbidities such as depression and addiction often co-occur. However, we did not measure other addictions, such as to drugs or alcohol, formally in our study,” Mays talked about.

The researchers moreover collected saliva samples from respondents to purchase DNA. In the samples, they regarded 34 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 5 fully totally different genes.

SNPs are modifications in certainly one of many base molecules on a strand of DNA. The explicit SNPs that researchers checked out had been in genes acknowledged being related to pathways that reward addictive conduct.

Mays talked about the information collected from DNA signifies that variation in DRD2 dopamine receptor genes is associated with indoor tanning behavior.


“In other words, in our data people with certain genotypes had a greater likelihood of meeting our criteria for tanning addiction. Replication of these findings in future studies will be important to confirm what we’ve found, too,” he talked about.

A challenge worth discovering out

Most pores and pores and skin cancers are attributable to publicity to ultraviolet (UV) rays in daylight.

The commonest varieties of pores and pores and skin most cancers — basal cell and squamous cell — tend to be found on physique parts which could be most uncovered to the photovoltaic, corresponding to the face.

The risk of melanoma will also be related to photovoltaic publicity. The American Academy of Dermatology research that “it is estimated that 192,310 new cases of melanoma, 95,830 noninvasive (in situ), and 96,480 invasives, will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2019.”

Skin most cancers have moreover been linked to publicity to some artificial sources of UV rays, corresponding to these from indoor tanning. In actuality, researchers estimate that indoor tanning might set off upwards of 400,000 circumstances of pores and pores and skin most cancers throughout the United States yearly.

Mays talked about the prevalence of pores and pores and skin most cancers as a result of it relates to indoor tanning makes the context of his evaluation important.

“The link between indoor tanning and an increased risk of skin cancer is well-established, and it is especially important in young people because it increases the risk of skin cancer (particularly melanoma) diagnosis early in life,” Mays talked about.

“By gaining a better understanding of indoor tanning addiction and developing interventions to help people quit, we can make progress to prevent and reduce skin cancer in this population,” he added.

How to cope with tanning behavior

Mays is establishing on his analysis outcomes and dealing to develop and examine interventions and sources designed to help youthful women who may be addicted to indoor tanning hand over.

He’s for the time being discovering out a cell textual content material messaging program that delivers knowledge about the hazards of indoor tanning combined with behaviorally-motivating content material materials.

“The idea we are pursuing is whether interventions that have evidence of efficacy for other addictive behaviors such as cigarette smoking can be adapted and applied to indoor tanning addiction,” talked about Mays.


Jenifer Cullen, Ph.D., a scientific psychologist in Belmont, Massachusetts, talked about in order to best cope with someone who excessively tans, she has to first understand why they tan.

“If their reason is, ‘I’m going to the tanning bed because they make me feel good and it takes my mind off things, and when I leave there, I’m in a better mood,’ then that would be tied to possibly depression,” Cullen knowledgeable Healthline.

In addition to medicines, Cullen talked about cognitive behavioral treatment (CBT), which is a converse treatment that helps you modify into aware of inaccurate or detrimental pondering, is usually used to cope with melancholy.

“CBT gets people into contact with the things in their life that are meaningful and important to them like religion and community and has them access those things because people who are depressed typically isolate themselves, and the more they isolate, the more they become more and more depressed,” talked about Cullen.

In reference to tanning, the aim of CBT could be to eradicate the necessity to mood enhance with tanning.

Cullen moreover elements out that extreme tanning might very properly be attributable to physique dysmorphic dysfunction (BDD), a state of affairs throughout which a person obsessively focuses on a perceived flaw of their look.

“Someone with BDD who excessively tans may say, ‘I’m not happy with the color of my skin. It’s too pale, too white. I need to look dark.’ And they will do all sorts of compulsive behaviors in an effort to perfect their skin,” Cullen outlined.

The go-to remedy for BDD is publicity and response prevention (ERP), a form of treatment that exposes a person to their concepts, photos, objects, and situations that make them anxious or set off their obsessions.

“As far as tanning, if the person wants the color of their skin to be dark, we would have them go outside wearing a high SPF, and tell them they have to wear a high SPF every time they go outside, so that eventually the color of their skin will return to the natural,” Cullen talked about.

By doing the opposite of what their dysfunction tells them to do, she says over time they examine to change the reference to their look.

“Anyone with BDD is trying to perfect the ‘defect’ they perceive,” Cullen talked about. “Through ERP, the goal isn’t to get them to like their skin color, it’s to accept their appearance as is without trying to change it.”

Cullen notes that BDD is not a behavior.

“I don’t think the person with BDD is addicted to the tanning. They’re more addicted to the effect because their [journey is to] perfect their appearance, and the tanning just becomes a compulsion to try to achieve the results,” she talked about.

Still, she says tanning behavior isn’t one factor to take flippantly.

“If a person feels like both they couldn’t stop tanning, but also it is interfering in their life in some way, then they need to seek professional help,” she talked about.

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