New epidemic: tanorexia or tanning addiction
Among the many dependencies, tanorexia is not too well known. And no wonder, because this term appeared less than 20 years ago, at the beginning of our century. Tanorexia means psychological dependence on tanning (from English tan – sunbathing and analogies with anorexia).
The fashion for a tanned, bronze body appeared not so long ago – in the 20s of the XX century. Until that time, tanned skin was a sign of low origin. Noble ladies, by hook or by crook, tried not to get exposed to the sun so as not to look like peasant girls.
Coco Chanel changed everything. In truth, she accidentally sunbathed while relaxing with friends on a yacht. But since Coco was an unquestioned authority in the fashion world, everyone decided that the tan looks very beautiful and elegant.
Since then, to this day, tanned skin in society is considered an indispensable attribute of an attractive modern woman who looks after herself and does not lag behind fashion.
Tanorexia is an addiction
For some, this social habit turns into tanorexia – a real addiction, akin to playing or even narcotic. Yes, it’s an addiction: if a tanorexic (and this disease is more characteristic of teenage girls, less often adult women) is deprived of the opportunity to fry in the sun or in a solarium, it will really suffer, considering itself scary and ugly.
And the skin of the color of chocolate becomes the goal and meaning of life. If it’s summer outside, then she spends all her free time lying in the sun – on the beach, in the park on the grass, just on the lawn. In winter, a tanning bed is required several times a week.
At the same time, tanning, tanorexics remove stress, get rid of depression, their mood really improves.
How to determine if you have Tanorexia
1. You go to sunbathe all year round at least 4 times a week, you are a regular visitor to the solarium.
2. It seems to you that you have not sunbathed yet, although your skin is already dark brown.
3. You are ready to refuse an important meeting, to postpone urgent matters in order to go to sunbathe.
4. You get angry when they tell you about the dangers of sunburn, its health effects.
You can not often sunbathe in the sun and in the solarium
5. You continue to roast in the sun (in the solarium), even when numerous moles appear on your skin.
6. After a session in the solarium or a day spent in the sun, your mood rises.
7. And vice versa, you consider a day without a tan lived in vain.
If most of the above are characteristic of you, you are in danger – this may be tanorexia.
What is useful and harmful tan
Often, lovers of tanned skin justify their unhealthy addiction by the fact that the sun’s rays are necessary for the body to produce vitamin D.
Yes it is. But for this useful vitamin to form, it is enough to be in the sun for only 20 minutes a day, so that the skin darkens slightly. By the way, in very tanned skin, vitamin D is synthesized in very small quantities.
Ultraviolet light increases the body’s resistance to diseases, accelerates the restoration of damaged tissues, kills viruses and bacteria, promotes the production of sex hormones, accelerates metabolic processes.
But everything is good in moderation. Too large doses of solar radiation, sunburn can cause irreparable harm to the skin.
With prolonged exposure to the sun, you can get melanoma
A tan is aging skin. Women who are constantly exposed to sunlight look older than their years. Photoaging – changes in the skin caused by ultraviolet light withers it. The skin thickens, becomes flabby, wrinkles, spots, spider veins appear.
But the biggest danger of prolonged exposure to the sun is oncology. Doctors – dermatologists and oncologists are relentlessly reminiscing about this harm to tanning the skin.
Ultraviolet irradiation is a risk factor for the development of basal cell carcinoma, a malignant tumor developing in the epidermis. And it all starts with harmless nodules or plaques.
An even more dangerous tumor is melanoma. Her appearance is also associated with a passion for tanning. This tumor, disguised as a banal mole, grows rapidly and metastases to all organs.
The effects of severe tanning also include:
burns to the skin and eyes;
solar urticaria (photodermatitis);
exacerbation of acne;
Should I risk my health for even beautiful chocolate skin? (By the way, tanning is a protective reaction of the skin to solar radiation.) Probably still not. But those who suffer from tanorexia are not easily convinced. Indeed, tanorexia is a real addiction, and like any addiction, it must be treated.