07May

Tanorexic

Photo Credit: HLNTv

 

The news has exploded in the last few days with reports of a New Jersey mother being arrested for child endangerment after being accused of taking her daughter to a tanning salon.

Pictures have surfaced of the accused, Patricia Krentzil, showing a woman who literally looks burnt to a crisp. Many say that Krentzil suffers from an illness dubbed “tanorexia”, or an addiction to tanning. While Krentzil and her lawyer maintain that she is not addicted to tanning, her habits paint a different picture. The owner of the tanning salon where Krentzil frequents revealed that she tans on average five days a week for the maximum of 12 minutes each session.

What is most alarming is that Krentzil is exposing her child to her own addiction, playing an active role in influencing her daughter’s habits. A study conducted last year at East Tennessee State University investigated the indoor tanning habits of more than 200 university students. Researchers found that young women whose first indoor tanning experience was their mother were 4.6 times more likely to become heavy tanners.

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, tanning beds emit UVA that in 12 times that of the sun. Extended exposure to UV radiation significantly increases one’s risk of skin cancer; people who use tanning beds are 2.5 times more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma and 1.5 times more likely to develop basal cell carcinoma.