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More Evidence Tanning Beds May Be Addictive
Date:8/15/2011

sult: Indoor tanning sessions that involved UV radiation triggered activation of the brain's dorsal striatum region and the medial orbitofrontal cortex, each of which plays a role in reward and reinforcement. Sessions where UV radiation was blocked showed less of this type of brain activation, the team found.

The findings make sense to Dr. Heidi Waldorf, an associate clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. "Like other addicts, 'tanorexics' continue to tan indoors and out despite clear warnings of the dangers," she said. "In my practice, I've seen women continue to tan after skin cancer surgery and after spending thousands of dollars on cosmetic procedures to rejuvenate their photodamaged skin."

But John Overstreet, the executive director of the Indoor Tanning Association, a Washington, D.C.-based trade group representing the indoor tanning industry, said that UV light is essential for survival.

"Some people overdo things, but that doesn't mean they are addicted," he said. "Moderation is the key, whether your UV exposure is from a tanning bed or sun."

More information

Find out more about the dangers of UV radiation at the Skin Cancer Foundation.

SOURCES: Bryon Adinoff, M.D., professor, psychiatry, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas; Heidi Waldorf, M.D., associate clinical professor, dermatology, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York City; John Overstreet, executive director, Indoor Tanning Association, Washington, D.C.; Addiction Biology, online


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