A tanning addiction is a behavioural addiction where an individual may have either a physical or psychological dependence on using ultraviolet (UV) tanning beds or sunbathing.


According to a 2017 study conducted by researchers at Georgetown University Medical Centre, 20 percent of women who tan show signs of tanning dependency.

The researchers ran 400 women through a set of mental and behavioural tests both before and after a tanning session. Those who were labelled as having an addiction strongly believed in the physical and mood-boosting benefits they experienced after a tanning session. They were convinced it enhanced their appearance and attitude, ultimately making them feel better about themselves. However, once that feeling faded, the tanning bed users showed signs of depression.

There a many different possible causes of tanning addiction. There has been research which links tanning addiction to other disorders. For example, body dysmorphia and eating disorders.

Often when someone is struggling with the way they look, addictions like tanning occur. The desire to look a certain way.