Tanorexia, tanorexic, tanning addict? None of these are new terms however, a new study suggests that frequent users of tanning beds exhibited brain activity similar to that observed in people addicted to drugs or alcohol.
A study published in the journal Addiction Biology found that tanning bed user’s brain activity and blood flow to the brain area are altered by tanning bed users in similar ways to drug and alcohol abusers. Scientists filtered out the UV light without telling the subjects and saw far less activity in regions of the brain that are normally associated with experience. The tanners did not feel fulfilled after the sessions without UV light and still desired to go tanning. This indicates that they could tell when they didn’t experience the addictive brain activity and felt as though they did not get their “fix”, much like with drugs.