FOX 47 - Health News

Thursday, November 3 2011, 07:35 PM CDT

MADISON (WMSN) -- New research shows tanning is more than just skin deep. It can be addictive.

How addictive? As much as cocaine or heroin.

In a Fox 47 News Special Report, experts in Madison spoke about the story have to say about the study.

"That's so true because once your convinced you're more tan you're more beautiful - all the girls will love you," said Patient Scott Rouse, Fitchburg resident.

Rouse says his love affair with tanning began as a teenager in the 1970's when he and his friends would lay out in Ft. Atkinson during those hot Wisconsin summers.

"We were driven by this need to be dark we were out between 1 and 4 p.m. and the baby oil was Johnson & Johnson we'd slap that on," said Rouse.

Years later - he's found the consequences from it.

"I noticed a little thing growing on my cheek here. It turns out it was basal cell carcinoma," said Rouse.

Basil cell carcinoma is the most common and least lethal type of skin cancer. The now 58-year-old has had three more cancers removed. Scott is not alone with the burning desire to be dark.

Dr. Bryan Baldo researches food addictions in rat's brains.

He says findings in "The Journal Addiction Biology" sheds new light on why despite warnings - people still go tanning.

"When you scan the brain the same brain structures that light up in response to drugs and reward are lighting up when an individual is in a tanning salon," said Dr. Bryan Baldo, UW Researcher.

He says this shines light on what's happens when you go under UV.

"It would produce symptoms that were very similar to heroin addicts for example. How that happens I'm not sure yet but its a fascinating insight," said Baldo.

Steve Rouse's dermatologist, Dr. Robert McDonald says a study back in 2005 might explain why.

"When a person is shielded out of all the light their brain didn't light up the same way as they did with real UV light. It suggests that a reaction in the skin is happening that the brain can detect," said Dr. Robert McDonald, Dermatologist with Dean Clinic.

Which shows the addiction - is UV light.

"The American Academy of Dermatology put a lot of money in to a campaign for several years and found out even after this was completed it made no difference," said Dr. McDonald.

The Skin Cancer Foundation found about 30 million Americans use tanning beds each year.

"He [Scott Rouse] has very sun damaged skin and will continue to get multiple skin cancers so he can turn it around if he wears a hat and shirt," said Dr. McDonald.

"I haven't been in a tanning bed for 6 years even though I was a weekly user several years before that. So, you live by your mistakes I guess," said Rouse.

Special Report: Tanning as addictive as heroin? Study says it`s true

Video List

Sun. - Fri. on FOX 47 News at 9!

Top Health Headlines (foxnews.com)

Smoking potent marijuana may mess up brain signals
A new study raises concerns for those who indulge in potent forms of marijuana.

A unicorn is convincing people to squat to poop
The Western sitting toilet is, apparently, a crappy design.

Holiday party leftovers: What to keep and what to toss
Q&A with Dr. Manny: I just had a big holiday party, are there any leftovers I shouldn’t keep to avoid getting sick?

UNICEF: AIDS leading cause of death for African teenagers
While the global push to eradicate HIV may have saved over a million babies, AIDS is now the leading cause of death for African teenagers and the second most common killer for adolescents across the globe, the United Nations' agency for children said on Friday.

For women with diabetes, air pollution has higher heart risks
Particle pollution like soot is a known health hazard and linked to the risk of heart disease and stroke, but women with diabetes are even more vulnerable than most people, according to a new U.S. study.

Advertise with us!

Tonight on FOX 47

2:00pm FOX College Football Pregame
FOX College Football: Washington vs. Washington State
6:00pm Modern Family
6:30pm Big Bang Theory
7:00pm Masterchef Junior
8:00pm World's Funniest
9:00pm FOX 47 News at 9
9:35pm Modern Family
10:05pm Mike & Molly
10:35pm 2 Broke Girls
11:05pm Two and a Half Men
11:35pm The Simpsons
12:05am Mike & Molly

Complete FOX 47 Schedule

To FOX.com

Advertise with us!
IE6 Float Fix