This article is from the WebMD News Archive

Indoor Tanning Addiction Linked to Anxiety, Drug Abuse


April 19, 2010 -- Indoor tanning can be addictive, and people who are hooked on tanning beds may also be prone to anxiety and substance abuse problems, according to a new study in the Archives of Dermatology.

Despite the well-publicized risks of skin cancer, indoor tanning is on the rise among adolescents and young adults. Many people still feel that they look better when they are tan and report that the act of tanning is relaxing. The industry is booming, despite federal efforts aimed at regulating and taxing indoor tanning.

In the new study of 421 students from a large Northeastern university, 229 students had tanned in indoor salons. Of these, 160 met criteria for indoor tanning addiction. In general, indoor tanning addicts tanned more frequently than their non-addicted counterparts. The college students who were addicted to indoor tanning were also more likely to have symptoms of anxiety and/or greater use of alcohol, marijuana, and other substances, than their peers who were not addicted to indoor tanning.

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