Do you constantly turn to the tanning bed to maintain your color? Would you say you were… Dependent on it? If the answer is yes, you might actually be developing a behavioral disorder – it sounds scary, I know, but here’s some recent research to help you understand it better!
Researchers at the Yale School of Public Health have studied the exomes of 79 people that showed symptoms of a tanning dependency and 213 people who didn’t. What they found was an inherited variation in one gene, known as PTCHD2 in short, that was “significantly associated with whether or not young people, all of whom had previously sunbathed or indoor tanned, exhibited symptoms of tanning dependence,” said Yale researcher Brenda Cartmel, the study’s lead author.
You should definitely be worried about tanning dependency, because it is essentially excess exposure to UV light. And the more UV you’re absorbing, the higher your risk for skin cancer. In fact, the participants in this study had actually been subjects in research on early-onset skin cancer before… And if that’s not enough to deter you from tanning excessively, I don’t know what is.
Of course, further research is still needed, but from what this study showed, tanning frequently can lead to you exhibiting an almost drug-like dependency – so if you know you’re in danger of heading in that direction, it’s best to pull out as soon as you can. Stay safe, ladies!
Source: Cartmel, B., Dewan, A., Ferrucci, L. M., Gelernter, J., Stapleton, J., Leffell, D. J., Mayne, S. T. and Bale, A. E. (2014), Novel gene identified in an exome-wide association study of tanning dependence. Experimental Dermatology, 23: 757–759. doi: 10.1111/exd.12503