Some healthcare professionals have gone on record stating that tanning is the new addiction.
After all, when you crave something so much that you will do it even when you know it is not healthy for your body, then that is classified as an addiction.
In the case of tanning, you know that the ultraviolet rays of the sun and tanning beds can cause wrinkling and sagging skin, age spots, and even skin cancer, but you still do it. And many more continue to do it too. In fact, the numbers of people tanning continue to increase, despite being aware of the risks and dangers it poses.
Other than enjoying the color that a tan brings, there are other reasons why people say they tan:
Your mood is better when you tan
In fact, many tanning salons will advertise that tanning will lessen the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is a form of depression that usually emerges in the fall and winter months when there are less sunlight hours. However, this is not an effective treatment as SAD requires visible light (not the ultraviolet light from a tanning bed) to enter through your eyes using a special SAD lamp.
You feel more relaxed
Related to the improved mood, is also the relaxation that is reported that tanning brings. Studies have also confirmed this, and that there is a release of endorphins (the feel-good hormones that your brain releases) when exposed to ultraviolet radiation (UV).
You want to get the Vitamin D
Getting your daily dose of Vitamin D is not a common reason that people will give for tanning, but tanning salons will definitely tout this as a reason to use their services.
The truth is that sun exposure or tanning beds are not safe ways to get your Vitamin D, so you should consider eating fortified dairy products or taking a supplement. This is an inexpensive and safer way than the use of UV radiation.
Could there be another reason why some people are hooked on tanning?
Studies continue into the reasons why people continue to tan, even though they know that the ultraviolet radiation is damaging to their bodies.
Some researchers also believe that some tanners suffer from Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), which is a body-image disorder where they think that their bodies are unflattering in some way. The reality, however, is that they do not perceive their bodies accurately in the same way others would describe their physical appearance.
In conclusion, it appears that tanning is like an addiction for some people. Based on the information above, do you think that you could be one of the ones addicted to tanning?