Are UV Rays Addictive?

tanning on the beachEven though sun damage is dangerous, people consistently decide to turn to tanning beds for a bronzed appearance. There are a great number of skin care products that line store shelves. Cosmetics, including bronzers, have been created to achieve a sun kissed look without the damaging effects. Recent times have also seen a growing trend toward pale skin as well. Despite these facts, a great number of people cannot get out of the tanning habit. This is because UV rays may be addictive.

UV Rays Are As Addictive As Drugs

Research has been done that shows how UV rays stimulate certain parts of the brain. They send a signal of reward and pleasure that is similar to the effects of drugs. For years, dermatologists have listened to patients who explain the “feel good” effect that tanning brings.

Studies have shown that people who suffer from S.A.D.D (Seasonal Affective Disorder) use tanning beds as a means of medication. Many psychologists explain that UV rays act seductively and coax a person into feeling relaxed. This is the same feeling that traps a drug addict. It is the same way that opiates bring a sense of happiness to the brain.

To back up this theory, scientists have collected a group of people who tan regularly and have administered a medicine that blocks the euphoria caused by drugs. Even after continued tanning, this group suffered symptoms of withdrawal. There is new research beginning to study the effects of dopamine on addiction as well.

Long Term Tanners Get Hit The Hardest

Tanning does not become an addiction after just one session at a tanning bed. However, the more that a person returns to a place where UV rays are present, there higher the chance that addiction will occur. People who have tanned for many years are most likely to return time and time again, even after knowing the potential dangers. In fact, skin cancer is at the highest level of all times.

How to Battle Addiction To UV Rays

There are programs being developed that will try to intervene with this addiction. They will try to steer people who are addicted to UV rays toward self-tanners and other skin care products that mimic the results of tanning. Spray tans are becoming a popular part of spa treatments that provide relaxation. People who have S.A.D.D. may receive LED light treatment to reverse the negative mood swings that are associated with seasonal changes.

More and more people are becoming addictive to UV rays. Tanning is known to cause dangerous effects on the body’s health. Despite the high rates of skin cancer, people continue to be drawn to UV rays. This addiction can be as strong and powerful as drug addiction. The best way to prevent tanning abuse is to say no from the very beginning. Not getting started is the only sure way to prevent addiction from occurring.