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Indoor tanning Tanning dependence and other health risks

CAROLYN J. HECKMAN
Cancer Prevention and Control Program
Fox Chase Cancer Center, 333 Cottman Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19111, USA

Abstract

Since industrialization of the Westernworkforce, tanned skin has been perceived increasinglyas attractive and fashionable for naturally light-skinnedindividuals. In addition to causing tanning, photo-aging,and other health effects, ultraviolet radiation (UV) is aknown carcinogen. Despite increased awareness of UVrisks, tanning has become increasingly popular in severalWestern countries including the USA. An additional risk ofUV is tanning dependence or addiction. Several studieshave provided evidence for the phenomenon of tanningdependence, with plausible biologic underpinningsprimarily related to the opioid system. Tanningdependent individuals may tan frequently and putthemselves at even great risk for skin cancer. This reviewwill briefly outline the risks of indoor tanning includingtanning dependence.