If you have felt elated using the tanning beds and cannot seem to get enough of them, there may be more to the elation than just the look good factor of the tan. Researchers from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center , have researched the background of the 'feel good' factor , suggesting that the ultraviolet light causing the beautiful tan could also be igniting euphoric sensations, akin to the effects of addictive drugs !
Mandeep Kaur, M.D., lead author, giving an insight said "We had previously shown that ultraviolet light has an effect on mood that tanner's value. Now, in this small study, we've shown that some tanners actually experience withdrawal symptoms when the 'feel-good' chemicals are blocked."
As a part of the study, eight regular tanners were combined with eight irregular tanners, 8 to 15 tans a month being the yardstick for regular/frequent tanning and 12 times a year for irregular or infrequent tanning. The study basically aimed at testing the supposed theory that ultraviolet rays exposure is capable of producing endorphins, chemicals in the brain that lend feelings of positivism, elation and even provide relief from pain.
Steven Feldman, M.D., Ph.D., senior researcher and a professor of dermatology said, "The finding was unexpected and is consistent with the hypothesis that frequent tanning is may be driven in part by a mild dependence on opioids, most likely endorphins .The nausea and jitteriness induced by the medication are consistent with symptoms of mild opiate withdrawal."
This finding is extremely significant, due to its resemblance with other types of addictive/risky behaviors. The research is published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology