Michigan, Feb 20 IANS | 5 months ago

Are you mad about sun-bathing and don't leave any chance to tan your body? You may be suffering from a tanning addiction.


Researchers found that some who engage in excessive tanning may also be suffering from obsessive-compulsive (OCD) and body dysmorphic disorders (BDD).

"While more research is needed regarding to idea of tanning as an addiction, this study suggests that some people who tan also experience mental health symptoms that warrant further assessment," said Erin Bonar, assistant professor of psychiatry at University of Michigan's addiction research centre.

"Although tanning behaviour could be separate and distinct from these concerns, it's possible that the symptoms of OCD or BDD are contributing to the tanning in some way," Bonar added.

Respondents who answered yes to at least three of the eight criteria on the Tanning-DSM - a modified version of substance abuse criteria in the US - were considered tanning dependent.

Those who answered yes to two of the four questions on the tanning-specific version were considered to have problematic tanning.

Out of 533 tanning students who took the questionnaire, 31 percent met the criteria for tanning dependence and 12 percent for problematic tanning.

"It may be that some individuals engage in excessive tanning because of obsessive thoughts about compulsion to tan," explained Lisham Ashrafioun, a PhD student in psychology at Ohio-based Bowling Green State University.

If problem tanning is conceptualised as an addictive disorder, obsessions and compulsions about tanning may instead represent craving to tan, said the study published in the Journal of American Academy of Dermatology.

(Posted on 20-02-2014)