Urge to tan ‘could be similar to an alcoholic’s desire for beer’

Tanning gene 'similar to an alcoholic's desire for beer'
Tanning could be very addictive (Picture: ITV)

A person’s urge to have a tan could be similar to that of an alcoholic who constantly wants beer.

US scientists have found some people apparently have a gene that makes them addicted to ultraviolet rays.

PTCHD2 results in a similar urge to that felt by alcoholics, drug addicts and smokers, they said.

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Joey Essex, tan
Some people may be addicted to getting tans like Joey Essex (Picture: Rex)

A study of 300 adults, who like to sunbathe outdoors and on a sunbed, identified 79 who share the gene as being ‘tanning dependent’.

Dr Brenda Cartmel, who led the Yale School of Public Health study, said: ‘We observed that PTCHD2 was significantly associated with whether or not young people, all of whom had previously sunbathed or indoor tanned, exhibited symptoms of tanning dependence.’

The results may aid the fight against skin cancer, which can be caused by overexposure to UV, but further large-scale tests are needed.

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2 December 2014 | 11:04 pm – Source: metro.co.uk

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