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Ultraviolet exposure is a reinforcing stimulus in frequent indoor tanners.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Investigations into tanners' reasons for tanning have focused primarily on the perception of improved appearance. Reported relaxing effects of tanning suggest the possibility of a physiologic effect of UV that drives tanning behavior.

OBJECTIVE

We sought to determine if there is a physiologic reinforcing effect of UV exposure, separate from appearance motivation, that may contribute to tanning behavior.

METHODS

We determined the reinforcing effect of UV light in a series of controlled, blinded, repeated-choice trials of UV carefully designed to separate as cleanly as possible reinforcing effects of UV exposure from other factors including perceived benefits of having a tan. A total of 14 young adults who used tanning beds regularly were exposed to otherwise identical UV and non-UV tanning bed stimuli on Mondays and Wednesdays for 6 weeks. On Fridays, participants had concurrent access to the two beds. The primary dependent variable was the percentage of choice sessions during which more UV than non-UV tanning was chosen.

RESULTS

In all, 12 participants chose additional tanning exposure on Fridays and, of these, 11 consistently used the UV bed for that exposure. Of the total 41 occasions when participants chose to tan on Friday, 39 sessions (95%) were for the UV bed and only two for the non-UV bed. A more relaxed and less tense mood was reported after UV exposure compared with after non-UV exposure (P=.008 and P=.002, respectively).

DISCUSSION

When exposed to UV and non-UV under blinded conditions, frequent tanners can distinguish the two conditions and undertake further UV exposure, indicating that UV is a reinforcing stimulus. The relaxing and reinforcing effects of UV exposure contribute to tanning behavior in frequent tanners and should be explored in greater detail.

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  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    Department of Dermatology, Wake Forest University Health Sciences, USA. sfeldman@wfubmc.edu

    , , , , ,

    Source

    MeSH

    Adult
    Beauty Culture
    Choice Behavior
    Female
    Humans
    Male
    Reinforcement (Psychology)
    Single-Blind Method
    Skin Pigmentation
    Ultraviolet Rays

    Pub Type(s)

    Clinical Trial
    Journal Article
    Randomized Controlled Trial
    Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
    Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    15243523

    Citation

    Feldman, Steven R., et al. "Ultraviolet Exposure Is a Reinforcing Stimulus in Frequent Indoor Tanners." Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, vol. 51, no. 1, 2004, pp. 45-51.
    Feldman SR, Liguori A, Kucenic M, et al. Ultraviolet exposure is a reinforcing stimulus in frequent indoor tanners. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2004;51(1):45-51.
    Feldman, S. R., Liguori, A., Kucenic, M., Rapp, S. R., Fleischer, A. B., Lang, W., & Kaur, M. (2004). Ultraviolet exposure is a reinforcing stimulus in frequent indoor tanners. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 51(1), pp. 45-51.
    Feldman SR, et al. Ultraviolet Exposure Is a Reinforcing Stimulus in Frequent Indoor Tanners. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2004;51(1):45-51. PubMed PMID: 15243523.
    * Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
    TY - JOUR T1 - Ultraviolet exposure is a reinforcing stimulus in frequent indoor tanners. AU - Feldman,Steven R, AU - Liguori,Anthony, AU - Kucenic,Michael, AU - Rapp,Stephen R, AU - Fleischer,Alan B,Jr AU - Lang,Wei, AU - Kaur,Mandeep, PY - 2004/7/10/pubmed PY - 2005/3/23/medline PY - 2004/7/10/entrez SP - 45 EP - 51 JF - Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology JO - J. Am. Acad. Dermatol. VL - 51 IS - 1 N2 - BACKGROUND: Investigations into tanners' reasons for tanning have focused primarily on the perception of improved appearance. Reported relaxing effects of tanning suggest the possibility of a physiologic effect of UV that drives tanning behavior. OBJECTIVE: We sought to determine if there is a physiologic reinforcing effect of UV exposure, separate from appearance motivation, that may contribute to tanning behavior. METHODS: We determined the reinforcing effect of UV light in a series of controlled, blinded, repeated-choice trials of UV carefully designed to separate as cleanly as possible reinforcing effects of UV exposure from other factors including perceived benefits of having a tan. A total of 14 young adults who used tanning beds regularly were exposed to otherwise identical UV and non-UV tanning bed stimuli on Mondays and Wednesdays for 6 weeks. On Fridays, participants had concurrent access to the two beds. The primary dependent variable was the percentage of choice sessions during which more UV than non-UV tanning was chosen. RESULTS: In all, 12 participants chose additional tanning exposure on Fridays and, of these, 11 consistently used the UV bed for that exposure. Of the total 41 occasions when participants chose to tan on Friday, 39 sessions (95%) were for the UV bed and only two for the non-UV bed. A more relaxed and less tense mood was reported after UV exposure compared with after non-UV exposure (P=.008 and P=.002, respectively). DISCUSSION: When exposed to UV and non-UV under blinded conditions, frequent tanners can distinguish the two conditions and undertake further UV exposure, indicating that UV is a reinforcing stimulus. The relaxing and reinforcing effects of UV exposure contribute to tanning behavior in frequent tanners and should be explored in greater detail. SN - 1097-6787 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/15243523/Ultraviolet_exposure_is_a_reinforcing_stimulus_in_frequent_indoor_tanners_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0190962204005559 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -