Washington, May 19 (ANI): Tanorexia, or an addiction to tanning, can be harmful, according to experts.
Dermatologists at Loyola University Health System claim tanning addictions, among young, white females, are a legitimate health problem.
According to a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, approximately 20 percent of 18 - 29 year-olds use indoor tanning booths.
Anthony Peterson, director, Department of Dermatology, Loyola University Health System, said: "When a person visits a tanning booth, the body releases endorphins. These chemicals produce the same feelings of euphoria that entice drug addicts and alcoholics."
It also explains the reason indoor tanning business is booming. Thirty million Americans visit tanning salons each year despite the risk for wrinkles and the dangers of ultraviolet radiation.
Ultraviolet radiation causes approximately 90 percent of skin cancers, and the risk for melanoma increases by 75 percent if you tan indoors before age 35.
Peterson said: "Excessive tanning is a serious health concern in our society. We have to treat this like any other addiction and educate young women about its dangers to curb this behavior."
In one such case, Amber Peterson, 31, used to visit tanning booths every alternate day for 10 years until she was diagnosed with the deadliest form of skin cancer at age 26.
Amber said: "I was addicted to tanning. I liked the look and feel of being tan, but it could have cost me my life. Despite the warnings, no one thinks that they are going to get skin cancer. I never thought that this would happen to me. I am just lucky to have survived." (ANI)