Doctors Talk About Tanorexics

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Updated: 6/05/2012 5:58 pm
Even though it's a known fact that tanning is bad for our health, a lot of people still worship the sun. 

Let's face it: tanning can hide skin imperfections, mask cellulite, and give you a glow. 

But overexposing yourself to the sun and tanning bed rays can do more damage than good.

Dermatologists say not only skin cancer, but also premature aging of the skin, wrinkling, sun spots; basically accelerating the aging process, maybe up to 10 to 15 years.

So why do some folks tan all the time, causing them to become what's been called tanorexics?  Doctors say they could be suffering from body dysmorphic disorder. That is a disorder where people have a preoccupation with a certain perceived defect in their bodies, and the focus becomes excessive. Experts say tanning can be an addiction, just like smoking and alcoholism. 

Studies on indoor tanning show those who suffer from tanorexia love the endorphin release they experience. Because of the endorphin releases that can cause physical addiction, people can actually have withdrawal systems if they cannot go tanning.

So, what is the best way to enjoy the sun?  Doctors say limit yourself to 30 minutes in the sun and wear a sunscreen of 30 SPF or higher that fights off both UVA and UVB rays.
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