Tanorexia is the constant preoccupation with having tanned skin. So much so that it becomes an obsession and the person who suffers from it undergoes long and ongoing exposures to the sun or UVA rays. These people never look brown enough and always want more, even though their skin is very tan than others. This disorder is a danger since the excess of sun and UVA rays affects our health. However, the people who suffer from this disorder are not aware, which is an inconvenience since they do not consider it a problem. It occurs in the same way in women and men, although adult women are the most prone to suffer from it. In this FastlyHealarticle, we talk about Tanorexia: causes and symptoms so that you can recognize it in time.
Definition of Tanorexia: sunbathing addiction
Tanorexia seems somewhat less severe than it is. It is a psychiatric disorder and must be treated as such. The person who suffers from anorexia has a distorted perception of reality and causes that they never see their skin tanned enough. This leads him to compulsively expose himself to the sun, constantly and for a long time, or go to UVA rays.
Both men and women can suffer from it, but it is more common in adolescent or adult women. It does not mean that all women or men who want to be brown suffer from it. When they go to the beach, many women want to expose themselves to the sun to increase their tan during the summer, but it does not mean that they suffer from this disorder. Of course, we must always follow some instructions and take precautions such as using a cream with a sun protection factor according to our skin and increasing it if we have paler skin, freckles, a tattoo or if it is our first exposure to the sun.
You have to keep in mind that if your concern about tanning increases and you get to the point where it becomes an obsession, or you are never satisfied, neither in summer nor in winter, you should worry and turn to someone to tell them what you are it happens. Although in most cases, people who suffer from this disorder do not realize it, it is progressive, and they do not see it as a problem.
You will wonder how a person happens to have anorexia or why some people suffer from it. The leading cause is a lack of self-esteem or that it is shallow; here are the rest of the reasons:
- The person suffering from this disorder has dysmorphophobia, a distorted perception of reality. It’s like people who have anorexia and always look fat. The same happens with Tanorexia since the person does not see that they are tanned, and their skin continues to be pale or very light.
- The main cause of anorexia is, as we have said, low self-esteem, and this is given by sociocultural factors and beauty standards. Today, tanned skin is the canon of beauty, and paleness is a disease symptom or seen as something ugly. However, formerly people with tanned skin were those of lower social class who worked in the fields or the sun all day and had tanned skin, and people with pale skin belonged to the upper classes since they spent the day inside the house or under umbrellas. The canons of beauty change over time, just as fashions and obsessions are never good. A lack of self-esteem can cause us to want to resemble what we believe to be beautiful so that we cannot see reality.
When something becomes an obsession or addiction, it is tough for the person himself to see it because it is most likely that it has been a progressive change that has been increasing over time. However, the people around you can detect it. Below we will tell you what the symptoms of a person with anorexia are, and if you see it clearly in someone around you, it is recommended that you take them to a specialist or go to them to find out how to act.
- You constantly worry about your skin tanning and are never happy with your skin tone by expressing it or commenting that you are pale or poorly tanned.
- She frequently visits beauty salons searching for a UV session or spends all her time on the beach sunbathing.
- You feel anxious about the fact that you may at some point lose part of your tan or lose it completely
- Her skin is rough, and she looks dehydrated. One of the effects of the sun on our skin is that it ages prematurely; this manifests itself in an aged and ragged skin like that of an older adult, or even dry skin with a lack of shine.
- They can also have very marked features, also the result of dehydration of the skin. Stains may also appear.
- Sometimes these people compete to see who has the most tan.
Dangers and consequences of Tanorexia
Continuous exposure to the sun’s rays is a dangerous thing, although most people do not give it the importance that it requires. It is essential to take precautions with exposure to the sun and UVA rays as it could even cause skin cancer.
Most people do not see the dangers of this and do not give it the importance that it has. Prolonged exposure to the sun can cause premature skin aging, making it look, as we have seen before, wrinkled, dehydrated, or blotchy. These spots can be skin cancer, and although we believe that it does not exist as much as others, skin cancer is more common than it is thought.
Exposure to the sun also contains A and B rays (UVA and UVB), the two types of radiation, the latter being the most harmful. The combination of both is the first cause of the formation of melanomas on the skin. Although UVA booths have filters that prevent UVB radiation from occurring, you also have to be careful.
To correct exposure to the sun, it is essential to use a cream with a protective factor solar and much higher the first time. Over time you can lower the protection factor, but you should never avoid putting it on. You have to be especially careful if you are a person who burns quickly if you have ashen skin or have many freckles or spots on the skin. In addition, you should avoid the hours when the sun is highest, between 12 and 16 hours. If you use a UV cabin, you should also use a cream with a protection factor and expose yourself for no more than 8 minutes. You should also avoid it if you have skin conditions like those mentioned before (paleness, freckles, or spots …) To tan, you do not need enhancers, and you should know that it is awful to use oils without using sun protection since it could burn your skin, and it would be much worse.
Treatment for Tanorexia
Being a psychiatric disorder, anorexia should be treated by a psychiatrist who will treat this disorder. It is a pathology caused by a lack of self-esteem, as we have seen, so it is the root of the problem that must be treated. In addition to the therapy, it will be advisable to go to a dermatologist for the possible damage that exposure to the sun may have caused to the person.
The following article gives you some tips to raise your self-esteem.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Tanorexia: causes and symptoms, we recommend that you enter our category of Mental Disorders .
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.