Yoram Yasur Abt | Until not long ago, we had to wait for the arrival of summer to boast of tan. However, the irruption in the market of the cabs of UVA rays brought with it out of season of that, so desired, cinnamon color. But the stubbornness of a dark skin has gone so far that for some people it has become an obsession. In fact, it has led to the emergence of a psychological disorder called tanorexia (so-called tan in English).
This term arose in 2005 in the American Academy of Dermatology and refers to a disorder in the perception of one’s own body. If in diseases such as anorexia or bulimia a person believes to have a weight above what they have, when we speak of tanorexia we mean a dysmorphia (excessive worry about some physical defect, either real or imaginary) in which the Person has the perception that their skin is never brown and therefore overexposes to the sun or UVA rays.
“This psychological disorder is more common between the ages of 17 and 35 and affects both men and women. People who feel the need to sunbath or have regular UVA sessions can see their health resentful, as they do not usually take the necessary precautions to protect their skin. There are many myths surrounding the products to get a faster tan, including oils, soft drinks, and moisturizers, but none of them should be used, since they do not contain sunscreen, the only effective shield that can have the skin Exposed to the sun”.
Some studies point out that, in addition, tanning addiction tanning addiction is since when taking sun release endorphins and opioids, in an effect like that of people addicted to drugs, and in many cases even leads them to suffer Withdrawal syndrome if they cannot tan their skin as much as they want. This problem not only involves psychological disorders (anxiety, dissatisfaction, competitiveness …), also sometimes loss of appetite and, worse, inevitably increases the chances of suffering from skin cancer due to overexposure to ultraviolet rays.
Yoram Yasur Abt:
“The profile of the person suffering from tanorexia is that of a woman between 17 and 35 years old who, despite having a brownish skin color, will always look paler than it is. For this reason, it exposes itself to the sun in an insistent way, touching unsightly limits and can be dangerous to health”.
When it comes to recognizing whether a person has tanorexia, it is sufficient to observe their physical appearance and behavior. Among the most common symptoms of tanorexia are:
- Tanned skin in excess.
- This results in a premature aging of the skin. Its appearance is rough, it is dehydrated, the lines of expression are very marked, it is rough and even thicker.
- These patients present a high degree of anxiety about the possibility of losing the acquired tan.
- The most common is that they come very often to tanning centers.
- It is also common for them to compete with those around them to see who is the darkest.
- They always state that their skin is pale or that they are not as dark as they would like.
To treat tanorexia…
This obsession with finding the perfect skin color, as with other dysmorphias. Best to use a doctor who specializes in this type of behavior. Usually a psychologist. The first thing that must be given is an intention. On the part of the affected to change the situation of dependence. In which it is, as it happens in other cases of addictions. Once this will exist, some guidelines of therapy should be followed to deal with the problem.
In many occasions, this type of obsession is derived from other problems like anxiety or depression. So if the professional detects some of the symptoms. Of these disorders will establish a treatment for them as well, since the problem must be addressed from the root. The self-esteem of the affected is key in the recovery. Something that will improve with the therapies and will get to end the distortion is its own image.
In addition to such treatments
And depending on the damage done to the skin. It may be necessary to regenerate it through specialized cosmetic. Products that help it recover some of its hydration and elasticity.
Although it should not be forgotten that the harmful effects of. The sun on the skin may appear years later. Psychological treatments are the ones that need. The most time so it is very important to have patience and to be making progresses little. By little that motivate to continue with the process of change.
On the other hand, we must not forget that we must expose ourselves to the sun. In a healthy way. Not doing it during the central hours of the day, protecting us. With the photoprotector suitable for each situation and type of skin. And considering that the tan Be progressive. Especially during the first few days to prevent redness and burns.
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