A new research study has found that tanning beds can be just as addictive as many street drugs and legally addictive substances such as alcohol and cigarettes, altering the users brain chemistry so they continue to tan despite the known risks for premature aging and ultimately skin cancer.
The study was created after scientists long posited that UV radiation can be addictive, that idea one researcher told the The New York Times led his team to “peer inside the brains of people as they lay in tanning beds.”
According to Dr. Bryon Adinoff, what his group of scientist found was:
“Using tanning beds has rewarding effects in the brain so people may feel compelled to persist in the behavior even though it’s bad for them,” while he added: “The implication is, ‘If it’s rewarding, then could it also be addictive?'”
The groups finding appear in the journal Addiction Biology and they show that a tanning bed users brain activity and blood flow to the brain area are altered by tanning bed users in similar ways to drug and alcohol abusers.
Researchers warn that the risk of melanoma increases 75 percent when tanning beds are used to gain exposure to UV radiation, making the addiction a potentially deadly one.
As other research study’s have suggested in the past, they recommend using a bronze cream or spray in the place of tanning beds, both which are effective and safe on the body.
For further information about safe alternatives to tanning beds try the Environmental Working Goup’s (EWG) cosmetic safety database Skin Deep.