Frequent tanning bed users may be getting more out of the experience than darker skin. Researchers at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center say exposure to ultraviolet light may produce a “relaxing” effect that lures tanners back to the beds.
“We believe that ultraviolet light has an effect on mood that tanners value,” said Steven Feldman, M.D., Ph.D., lead researcher. “This may be creating a reinforcing effect that influences tanning behavior.”
The research – involving 14 young adults who regularly used tanning beds – is reported in the July issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, which is now available on-line. For six weeks, study participants had tanning sessions on Mondays and Wednesdays in two identical-looking tanning beds. They spend half of each session in one bed and half in the other. There was a key difference in the beds, however – only one used ultraviolet light (UV).
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