Could frequent tanning bed use become addicting?

The New York Times (Subscription Publication) “Well” blog reports, “People who frequently use tanning beds experience changes in brain activity during their tanning sessions that mimic the patterns of drug addiction,” according to a study appearing in the journal Addiction Biology. The study is the “first to actually peer inside the brains of people as they lay in tanning beds.”

Investigators discovered “several parts of the brain that play a role in addiction were activated when the subjects were exposed to UV rays.”

The Time “Healthland” blog reports, “Bryan Adinoff of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and his colleagues examined seven frequent users of tanning beds in a bed that either exposed them to ultraviolet (UV) light, which is what causes skin to tan, or to light that was filtered to block those rays.”

Notably, “in the ‘real’ artificial sunlight condition — but not in the filtered light — the tanners’ brains showed activation of regions associated with pleasure and reward.”

This is just another reason I do NOT recommend tanning beds. Here are some of my other blogs on the topic:

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