Phenomenology and psychopathology of excessive indoor tanning

Authors

  • Aymeric Petit MD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine, Bichat-Claude Bernard Hospital, Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP), Paris, France
    • Correspondence

      Aymeric Petit, md

      Department of Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine

      Bichat-Claude Bernard Hospital

      46 Rue Henri Huchard

      75877 Paris Cedex 18, France

      E-mail: aymericpetit@hotmail.fr

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  • Laurent Karila MD, PhD,

    1. Addiction Research and Treatment Center, Paul Brousse Hospital, AP-HP, Villejuif, France
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  • Florence Chalmin PhD,

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine, Bichat-Claude Bernard Hospital, Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP), Paris, France
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  • Michel Lejoyeux MD, PhD

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine, Bichat-Claude Bernard Hospital, Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP), Paris, France
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  • Funding: Aymeric PETIT receives consulting fees from Otsuka and Astra Zeneca Pharmaceuticals. Laurent KARILA receives consulting fees from with GM Santé, BMS, Euthérapie, Astra Zeneca, Lundbeck, Gilead, Sanofi Aventis, D & A Pharma, Bouchara-Recordati, and Reckitt Benckiser.
  • Conflicts of interest: Michel Lejoyeux and Florence Chalmin report no conflict of interest.

Abstract

Excessive indoor tanning, defined by the presence of an impulse towards and repetition of tanning that leads to personal distress, has only recently been recognized as a psychiatric disorder. This finding is based on the observations of many dermatologists who report the presence of addictive relationships with tanning salons among their patients despite being given diagnoses of malignant melanoma. This article synthesizes the existing literature on excessive indoor tanning and addiction to investigate possible associations. This review focuses on the prevalence, clinical features, etiology, and treatment of this disorder. A literature review was conducted, using PubMed, Google Scholar, EMBASE and PsycINFO, to identify articles published in English from 1974 to 2013. Excessive indoor tanning may be related to addiction, obsessive-compulsive disorder, impulse control disorder, seasonal affective disorder, anorexia, body dysmorphic disorder, or depression. Excessive indoor tanning can be included in the spectrum of addictive behavior because it has clinical characteristics in common with those of classic addictive disorders. It is frequently associated with anxiety, eating disorders, and tobacco dependence. Further controlled studies are required, especially in clinical psychopathology and neurobiology, to improve our understanding of excessive indoor tanning.

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