A third of sunbed users may become addicted to tanning, a study has found.
The study, which was published in the Archives of Dermatology, focused on 421 US college students, out of which 229 had used sunbeds. It concluded that overall, 70 students met one set of clinical criteria for suffering from an addiction and 90 met another.
They found the so-called “tanorexia” addiction was also related to drug use, excessive drinking and anxiety. The average number of visits to a tanning salon in the previous year among participants was 23.
Addicted students were found to use sunbeds more often and were more likely to say they suffered anxiety than those who were not addicted. They were also more likely to drink a lot of alcohol and use cannabis, the study found.
Of the 50 students who met both sets of clinical criteria for addiction, 42 per cent had taken two or more drugs in the previous month compared with 17 per cent of those who were not addicted and 16 per cent of a control group of students who had never used sunbeds.
The authors concluded: “This study provides further support for the notion that tanning may be conceptualised as an addictive behaviour for a subgroup of individuals who tan indoors.”