The Newsroom    Published Thursday, Mar. 30, 2006, 3:26 PM
Print   |   
« Back   |   

Hooked on Tanning?

WebMD Health (Internet) 03/29/06 http://www.webmd.com/content/Article/120/113806.htm Tanning, dermatologists have found, makes the skin give off endorphins. These opioid compounds make a person feel good. They are the reason endurance runners report "runner's high." Could there really be such a thing as tanner's high? The author of the 2005 report suggesting that frequent tanning may be a type of substance abuse is Richard Wagner Jr., MD, deputy chairman of dermatology and director of dermatologic surgery at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Wagner says the idea came from skin cancer patients who couldn't stop tanning."Every dermatologist will tell you there are some patients we are concerned about," Wagner tells WebMD. "We know ultraviolet (UV) light can lead to skin cancer. Yet we all see patients with skin cancer who are always tan. We tell them not to tan on purpose, and some say, 'But doc, I like it too much. It makes me feel relaxed. I know I am getting skin cancer, but I can't stop.'" So Wagner went down to the beach and gave addiction questionnaires to people who were sunning themselves. As many as half met the psychological criteria for substance-related disorder. That substance: sun tanning.



Follow Us:
The Newsroom is a service provided by the Office of Public Affairs  •  Questions or Comments?