Addictive-like behaviours to ultraviolet light among frequent indoor tanners

C. R. Harrington, T. C. Beswick, J. Leitenberger, A. Minhajuddin, H. T. Jacobe, B. Adinoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Background: Frequent, purposeful exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light may induce a compulsive desire to tan despite the negative consequences being known, suggesting a behavioural complex similar to addictive disorders. Aim: To assess the presence of addictive-like behaviours in subjects using indoor tanning salons.Methods. Subjects (n = 100) were surveyed by two questionnaires: a modified CAGE questionnaire to assess behaviours consistent with problem tanning and a modified Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSM-IV) ('substance dependence' criteria) to assess behaviours consistent with a dependence-like disorder. Results: In total, 41% of subjects met criteria consistent with a 'tanning addictive disorder', and an additional 33% met criteria for problematic tanning behaviour based on the modified CAGE criteria or subthreshold criteria on the modified DSM-IV criteria. Female gender and early age of onset were associated with meeting tanning addiction criteria. Conclusion: A high percentage of subjects who tan frequently in indoor salons experience behaviours and consequences to their tanning consistent with other identified addictive disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-38
Number of pages6
JournalClinical and Experimental Dermatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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