With increasing knowledge about sun tanning being a major cause of skin cancer, the use of tanning beds has been on a decline. However, a decent size of our population is still putting themselves at risk, and many of them might actually be addicted. Yes, you read that right...
A recent study showed over 20 percent of white women who use tanning beds become addicted to them. Depression and low self-esteem can raise a person’s risk for addiction, but anyone seeking a bronze glow could wind up getting much more than they bargained for. This phenomenon can lead to cancer and, eventually, even death.
Knowing the Addiction Risks
Women who are most concerned about their looks are nearly 3 times more likely to become addicted to indoor tanning. Other factors include skin color, Caucasians being most likely to abuse tanning beds, and age is also a factor, with young adults being at the highest risk. The younger a person’s age when they originally begin tanning also appears to increase addiction risk.
Some researchers believe tanning bed addicts get a natural high from the UV exposure, possibly activating the same receptors in the brain as opioids. Others believe the addiction is related purely to body image. Whatever the driving factor is, people find it difficult to break the habit once it sets in. So yes, you can get hooked.
Knowing Your Cancer Risks
Every year, 5.4 million people are diagnosed with some form of skin cancer, 87,110 of those cases being melanoma alone. It is estimated that 9,700 of those people will die --- that’s a pretty gloomy survival rate. One person dies from melanoma every 54 minutes. You can reduce your risk by using sunscreen, covering up, avoiding long spans of sun exposure, and avoiding a tanning bed addiction.