Healthcast: Tanning Addiction

News

We’ve heard the statistics and the warnings: skin cancer is America’s fastest growing cancer and sun tan beds and salons add to that danger. But lots of folks keep going, and one dermatologist thinks they may actually be addicted to them.

When people expose their skin to the ultraviolet rays found at the beach and in suntan beds, scientists now say there’s a proven reason so many people feel good afterward.

Sancy Leachman, M.D., PhD, Chair of Dermatology at Oregon Health and Science University said “They can lay down and they feel calm. Relaxed. They’ve chilled out. But there’s a biochemical reason for that. And it’s because of the release of these endogenous endorphins and about 10 percent of our population, just like 10 percent in other drugs are very easily addicted to that.”

Dr. Leachman says despite the years of public health warnings, people still deny how dangerous sun tanning can be, especially for young women and men older than 50, who have the highest levels of melanoma in America today.

“I can’t tell you how many young women I’ve had with melanoma or more than one melanoma who have been victims of the sun tan salon trend,” Dr. Leachman said.

Take all of the breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancers in America and add them together. That total still is less than the number of skin cancers doctors found last year alone.

Here’s another statistic: every hour someone dies from melanoma.

One more little known fact from the skin cancer foundation: cities like Portland and Seattle, usually considered cloudy and rainy much of the year, are among the states with the highest rates of skin cancer in America. Why? Researchers still aren’t sure.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss

Trending Stories

Recent Videos

Mud bog in Seymour helps veteran from Houston

Thumbnail for the video titled "Mud bog in Seymour helps veteran from Houston"

Texoma authors celebrate National Indie Author's Day

Thumbnail for the video titled "Texoma authors celebrate National Indie Author's Day"

Overnight Fortnite at Game Time Wichita Falls

Thumbnail for the video titled "Overnight Fortnite at Game Time Wichita Falls"

Overnight Fortnite at Game Time Wichita Falls

Thumbnail for the video titled "Overnight Fortnite at Game Time Wichita Falls"

Archer City community members leave a permanent mark on town's mystery mural

Thumbnail for the video titled "Archer City community members leave a permanent mark on town's mystery mural"

Museum honors Arthur Bea as Legend of North Texas

Thumbnail for the video titled "Museum honors Arthur Bea as Legend of North Texas"

What the Tech: App of the Day—Turo

Thumbnail for the video titled "What the Tech: App of the Day—Turo"

Third defendant in cold case murder sentenced after 6 years

Thumbnail for the video titled "Third defendant in cold case murder sentenced after 6 years"

WF man sentenced to prison in human trafficking case

Thumbnail for the video titled "WF man sentenced to prison in human trafficking case"

Family remembers Wilder McDaniel one year after death

Thumbnail for the video titled "Family remembers Wilder McDaniel one year after death"

Clay Co. Purchases Wells Fargo, Headline: Clay County to purchase Wells Fargo building

Thumbnail for the video titled "Clay Co. Purchases Wells Fargo, Headline: Clay County to purchase Wells Fargo building"

Man gets probation in death of young mother

Thumbnail for the video titled "Man gets probation in death of young mother"
Get FREE Text Alerts
Report It

Latest News

More Local News