Tanning mom in training: Tanorexic addict racks up $50k bills on sunbed sessions
Trish Paytas, 24, started using sunbeds aged 14Despite warnings about skin cancer still visits tanning salons daily'I'd rather look good dead and tanned, than pale and alive,' she says
12:38 GMT, 31 May 2012
A self-confessed tanning addict has told how her obsession has cost $50,000.
Trish Paytas, 24, started using sunbeds aged 14 after her mother bought her forty sessions at a local beauty salon.
She now uses the indoor device on a daily basis – sometimes twice a day – in a bid to boost her bronzed complexion.
Tanorexic: Trish Paytas has spent more than $50,000 on sunbeds since the age of 14
Ms Paytas, a lingerie model from Los Angeles, California said she first became conscious about her looks after being bullied at school over her pale skin.
Mother Lenna, 53,who is also a frequent tanner, believed that sunbed sessions might help her daughter's self-confidence.
However the teenager soon became hooked on tanning and has since spent $52,505 (23,000) on salon treatments and fake tan products.
But the blonde, who now lives in New Jersey, refuses to stop using sunbeds and relies on modelling work to fund her addiction.
She said: 'It's definitely been worth spending all that money. I'm in the modelling industry so I have to look good all the time.
'Some people spend way more than that on cigarettes, so I just look at tanning as my guilty pleasure. Mum did the right thing, she wanted me to be happy.'
Bad habit: The 24-year-old uses sun beds every day in a bid to maintain her bronzed complexion
According to pediatrician Sophie Balk those who suffer from so called 'tanorexia' feel more relaxed after sunbathing or a session in a sunbed
At age 17 new laws meant she was only
allowed to tan for 12 minutes per session – but before that she had been
going for 30-minute spells.
And despite warnings that she risks skin
cancer, the 24-year-old claims: 'I'd rather look good dead and tanned, than pale and alive.'
She even defended 'tanorexic' mum Patricia Krentcil, who made headlines after allegedly taking her five-year-old daughter to a tanning studio where she suffered burns.
Patricia shocked the nation with her ultra-dark tan, but Ms Paytas said: 'I don't know why people were making such a fuss – she's a beautiful colour. Her tan would look great on me.'
'I don't know why people were making such a fuss… I don't worry about it making me look old. Mum looks like she's 30 and people say I look young.'
Even when she's not in the tanning booth, Ms Paytas regularly sunbathes with no skin protection- instead opting for oil to enhance the skin-browning effects of UV rays.
She added: 'Doctors have warned me about skin cancer, but sun-beds give you a base tan so you don't burn in the sun. I never use sunscreen -only tanning oiI. but I don't have any moles.
'I've had itching and spots before, but I think that's the oil. And I don't worry about it making me look old. Mum looks like she's 30 and people say I look young.'
In 2006 she bought a spray-tanning machine costing $700 (450) and since then has spent $180 (116)-per-month on spray – totaling $12,960 (8,350). It's estimated that she has spent more than 66 days (95,292 minutes) of her life on a sunbed.
According to Sophie Balk, a pediatrician at The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore in New York, those who suffer from so called 'tanorexia' feel more relaxed after sunbathing or a session in a sunbed.
She told NJ.com: 'Some people even experience withdrawal symptoms… They may know it’s bad but they can’t cut back.'
Time well spent Trish's love of tanning means she has spent over 66 days of her life on a sun bed
Withdrawal symptoms witnessed in 'chronically tanned people' can include depression and anxiety, she reveals.The reason for this, according to Jeanine Downie, a dermatologist in Montclair, New Jersey, is because tanning can trigger the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that can increase a sense of well-being.
Many tanorexics also ironically believe that they look healthier with a darker skin colour. Of course, a sunbed habit can have dangerous consequences, even for occasional users; the increased risk of skin cancer for excessive tanners will come as little surprise to anyone.
The Skin Cancer Foundation says sunbed users are over four times more likely to develop melanoma than those who don't use them.
Dr Downie told NJ.com that this is because tanning beds emit around 12 to 15 times more UV radiation than the sun.
'Every time you tan chronically your are increasing your chances of getting skin cancer about 75 percent,' she said.