The association of tanning behavior with psycho-tropic medication use among young adult women

Carolyn J. Heckman, Teja Munshi, Susan Darlow, Jacqueline D. Kloss, Sharon L. Manne, Clifford Perlis, David Oslin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Despite its known association with skin cancer, tanning remains popular among young adult women. Indoor tanning behavior has been found to be associated with affective and addictive disorders. To better understand potential psychological and biological mechanisms of tanning behavior, we investigated associations between tanning and medication (psychotropic and other) use among young women. Two hundred and fifty-three women age 18-29 years old were recruited from two northeastern university campus communities. Women self-reported tanning frequency and chronic medication use. In both univariate and multivariate analyses, indoor tanning ≥12 times last year was significantly associated with use of psychotropic medication and anti-depressants in particular. Sunbathing was not associated with medication use. Potential reasons for associations between tanning and psychotropic medication use are discussed. Indoor tanners should be warned that some psychotropic medications are photosensitizing, thus increasing risk for burns and other skin damage from indoor tanning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-66
Number of pages7
JournalPsychology, Health and Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


  • Anti-depressants
  • Psychotropic medication
  • Tanning
  • Young adult women


Dive into the research topics of 'The association of tanning behavior with psycho-tropic medication use among young adult women'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this