If you love tanning, whether it'd be outdoors or in a salon, it may be that you've become addicted to the sun worshipping practice, says a new study.
Apparently exposure to the sun and the UV light it gives off can elevate endorphins and endorphins make us feel good. Feeling good is something the body begins to crave and so sun lovers then begin to become dependent and experience addictive behavior, claims the study.
The study involved assessing sunshine reactions with mice over a six-week period. Exposure to the sun raises plasma levels of endorphins even after a low dose. Withdrawal due to the loss of the endorphin revealed symptoms such as tremors, shaking and even teeth chattering.
"There is this dangerous addictive pathway operating," said dermatologist Dr. David Fisher of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Fisher led the study.
The research, published in the journal Cell, states the nature of UV exposure might also be a factor in the increasing number of skin cancer diagnosis among human.
"Behavioral exposure to the sun is being guided by influences that go past just a desire to have a nice game of Frisbee outside. There's something else motivating that behavior," Fisher added.
According to the American Cancer Society said U.S. melanoma rates have been rising for at least 30 years, with about 76,000 news cases and 9,700 deaths forecast for 2014.
But not everyone believes the study is anywhere near conclusive or that tanning may be addictive. Those working in the indoor tanning industry say much more research needs to be done.
"It is also important to note that there is no simple definition of addiction and the identification of addictions requires a substantial body of research. It is highly unlikely that a single study could lead to a sound conclusion on the matter. You can take anything too far, that does not mean it is an addiction," said John Overstreet, executive director of the Indoor Tanning Association.