Tanning as addicting to some as heroin or morphine - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Tanning as addicting to some as heroin or morphine

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The addiction to tanning comes from the endorphins released in your body when the UV radiation hits. Much like heroin or morphine, they can be addictive. The addiction to tanning comes from the endorphins released in your body when the UV radiation hits. Much like heroin or morphine, they can be addictive.

Myrtle Beach, SC (WMBF) – The summer sunshine can be both refreshing and relaxing, but a recent study in the medical journal, "Cell" suggests that those feelings you get while tanning can be addictive.

The addiction comes from the endorphins released in your body when the UV radiation hits. Much like heroin or morphine, they can be addictive.

"Definitely there's a rush they feel," explained Dr. Robert Bibb, a Dermatologist in Little River. "They feel high, they feel good, and they feel like they have a lot of energy."

Dr. Bibb sees the warnings all the time and says that it's often people in their twenties that become addicted. He says they often have skin aged well beyond their years, and sometimes can look like a baked potato.

The good news Dr. Bibb tells us, is that this addiction is only for a certain type of person.

"These individuals may have obsessive compulsive disorder, and they will clearly know if they are addicted," Bibb said.

People often think sunscreen is the antidote for something like this, but the UV rays that trigger endorphins actually penetrate through the sunscreen. For someone addicted to tanning, their best bet is to stay out of the sun altogether.

"Just like an alcoholic knows he has to have a drink of alcohol to feel good, these individuals know it," explained Bibb. "They need psychological or psychiatric help."

Copyright 2014 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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