Are we addicted to sunshine? According to chief dermatologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, the answer is a resounding YES. The addiction has been explained as being related to our need for Vitamin D. Because our skin produces Vitamin D when exposed to the sun, it is a natural and plentiful source which is freely available year-round. That’s why we love it so. Research has found that suntanning can even cause the sensation of pleasure, marked by the release of chemicals similar to endorphins.
For all those sunlovers out there, you finally have proof that your addiction is totally based on a psychological and physiological need. Unfortunately, that still doesn’t make the habit a healthy one. The fact remains that excessive sun exposure still damages the skin and will cause the signs of aging to develop and worsen. The sun’s UV rays are considered carcinogenic by scientists, which means suntanning is something that could be as bad as, if not worse than, smoking. It’s one of the worst contributors to wrinkles and hyperpigmentation – problems that can be treated with fraxel (but prevention is always the best treatment).
Of course, as we mentioned before, you can also get your vitamin D from some foods (look for fortified foods, such as milk) and supplements. It’s better for your skin and health to stay out of the sun and cover up.