New Study Shows Further Evidence that Indoor Tanning Is Addictive

The Skin Cancer Foundation Cautions Against Using Tanning Beds.

New York, NY (March 20, 2018) – According to a recent study, one in five young white women who have used a tanning bed in the past year exhibit signs of dependence on the activity. The study, published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, is the latest in a mounting pile of evidence that demonstrates UV tanning can become addictive.

“Understanding why people feel compelled to tan is important, because it helps health advocates develop better intervention techniques that encourage people to stop tanning,” says Deborah S. Sarnoff, MD, President of The Skin Cancer Foundation. “There is no such thing as a healthy UV tan. Whether you’re laying out on the beach or in a tanning bed, the damage your skin sustains can lead to skin aging and potentially deadly skin cancer.”

Tanning, whether at an indoor salon or outside at the beach, has long been an unwavering fad here in the United States. Many people, like those in the study, truly believe they look better with a tan and therefore will stop at nothing to achieve such a look. For this very same reason, people may become addicted. As seen in the conclusions of the study, the women who were labeled as having a tanning addiction strongly believed in the physical and mood-boosting benefits they experienced after a tanning session. They were convinced it enhanced their appearance and attitude, ultimately making them feel better about themselves. However, once that feeling faded, the tanning bed users showed signs of depression.

This type of addiction, like many, come with various side effects with the most dangerous outcome being skin cancer. In fact, one study concluded that out of 63 women who were all diagnosed with melanoma before age 30, 61 of them (or 97 percent) had used tanning beds in their lifetime. A woman doesn’t even need to use tanning beds frequently for them to pose a threat to her health either. Just one indoor tanning session before the age of 35 increases a person’s risk of melanoma by 75%. Not to mention the development of premature wrinkles and hyperpigmentation which are main traits of UV damage.

While the use of tanning beds continues to pose a health threat, the trend doesn’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon. Consumers are continuing to visit indoor tanning salons at alarming rates, with steady expansion expected to grow through the year 2025, according to market research. The Skin Cancer Foundation advocates that no tan is a safe tan, and that regardless of whether women decide to Go With Their Own Glow or use sunless tanning methods, they avoid UV tanning.

“If you insist on achieving tanned skin, forego trips to indoor salons and opt for a spray tan or at-home tanning lotions which provide a safer way to achieve bronzed skin,” Dr. Sarnoff suggests. Additionally, laying in the sun should never be an option as this can lead down a dangerous path toward the tanning craving. For those who still need that endorphin rush, there are many ways to release endorphins and boost confidence naturally. An all-around positive lifestyle consisting of daily exercise, eating well and regular water intake can release similar characteristics of content and self-love that will lead to a lifetime of health and happiness.


About The Skin Cancer Foundation
The Skin Cancer Foundation is the only global organization solely devoted to the prevention, early detection and treatment of skin cancer. The mission of the Foundation is to decrease the incidence of skin cancer through public and professional education and research. Since its inception in 1979, the Foundation has recommended following a complete sun protection regimen that includes seeking shade and covering up with clothing, including a wide-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses, in addition to daily sunscreen use. For more information, visit

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