Should Tanning Addiction Be In The DSM?


Today’s New York Times reports that for some, tanning isn’t just fun, or a habit. It’s part of a medical diagnosis.

Jane E. Brody writes: “…There are enough UV abusers – one in five college students, perhaps half of beach habitués and 70 percent of indoor tanners, according to various studies – to warrant a new medical diagnostic category: tanning addiction.” So how do you know if you’re addicted? Researches use a formula similar to the one used for substance abuse:

It’s called CAGE, an acronym for four questions: Have you ever felt you needed to cut down on your tanning? Have people annoyed you by criticizing your tanning? Have you ever felt guilty about tanning? Have you ever felt you needed to tan first thing in the morning – as an eye opener?

Hmm. If answering “yes” to all of those questions makes you an addict, some of us could also have a problem with food, checking email, or staring at clothes we can’t afford online! Then again, web window shopping doesn’t cause melanoma.

When Tanning Turns Into an Addiction [NY Times]
Related: Addicted To Tanning? [NY Times]
Earlier: On Tanning: A Conflicted Soul

[Image via Pena/Hall/Pacific Coast News Online.]

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