Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Tanners May Be Lured by the "Feel-Good" Effects of UV Light

08.07.2004


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).



UV light occurs naturally in sunlight and is responsible for the tanning and burning effects of the sun. Artificial UV light is used in tanning beds and sunlamps.

Mood was measured before and after each tanning exposure. The results revealed greater relaxation and lower tension after UV exposure compared to non-UV exposure. The researchers theorize that UV exposure leads to the release of chemicals in the brain called endorphins that are linked to both pain relief and euphoric feelings.

“A more relaxed and less tense mood was reported after UV exposure compared to after non-UV exposure,” said Feldman. “We believe these relaxing and reinforcing effects contribute to tanning behavior and may help explain why people choose to tan despite the risks.”

During the six-week study, participants had the option of additional tanning on Fridays in either of the beds. Twelve of the subjects chose additional tanning – and for 95 percent of the sessions they chose the UV bed.

“There are probably many factors that influence the choice to tan frequently,” said Feldman, a professor of dermatology. “But we found that when subjects are offered tanning beds that differ only in the presence or absence of UV light, they choose the bed with UV light. Moreover, the choice of UV is associated with a sense of greater relaxation.”

Feldman said the finding is significant because, like other risky behaviors, it is important to understand why frequent tanners choose the activity. Exposure to UV through tanning has been shown to damage the genetic information in cells and is linked to the development of skin cancer. Despite this, there was a 300 percent increase in the number of indoor tanners in the United States between 1986 and 1996.

Most research into the motives for excessive tanning has focused on effects such as appearance. However, there is some previous evidence supporting a relaxation effect. Laboratory studies have shown a release of endorphins in response to ultraviolet light exposure. And, a survey of college students showed that relaxation was one of the most common reasons identified for tanning.

“Since we didn’t measure endorphins, we don’t know for sure that these substances are responsible for the phenomenon,” said Feldman. “But, our findings suggest a course for future research into why people use tanning beds and the mechanism of mood changes associated with tanning.”

The research was funded, in part, by the National Institutes of Health.

Feldman’s co-researchers were Anthony Liguori, Ph.D., Michael Kucenic, M.D., Stephen Rapp, Ph.D., Alan Fleischer Jr., M.D., Wei Lang, Ph.D., and Mandeep Kaur, M.D., all with Wake Forest Baptist.

| newswise
Further information:
http://www.wfubmc.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>