Patricia Krentcil's case sheds light on "tanorexia"

7:35 AM, May 4, 2012   |    comments
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(WBBH) -- "Tanorexia" is a word many people are using to describe a mother accused of taking her 5-year-old into a tanning booth.

Patricia Krentcil has admitted to excessively tanning herself.

Tan Lines Salon owner Michelle Saundrs says she sees people tan every day, but even she couldn't believe her eyes when she saw the images on Krentcil on the news Wednesday.

"That's absolutely disgusting to be honest with you. That's horrible," she said.

She said what she also finds horrible is that Krentcil is accused of bringing her 5-year-old daughter Anna into a tanning booth without the salon's knowledge.

Krentcil and several witnesses deny that the girl was taken into the booth.

"It can burn them really bad, just sitting on the floor against the wall," Saundrs said. "I personally don't think anyone should tan under the age of 18."

Krentcil admits Anna was at the tanning salon, but not in the room.

She says her daughter got the sunburn while playing outside.

Krentcil admitted to reporters than she tans excessively, and experts we spoke with say that can lead to a potantial tanning addiction.

"We often consider going to a tanning salon the equivalent of smoking for the skin. And the younger you start, those effects are cumulative," said dermatologist Dr. Doris Day.

Researchers believe compulsive tanners may have an addiction to UV rays and get a feeling of euphoria from them.

"It's a big time addiction," Saundrs said.

It's one thing that Saundrs doesn't have a problem with and says it's fine as long as your exposure is moderated.

"It helps you relax and gather your thoughts. I love it," she said.

The tanning salon where Krentcil tans is revoking her membership and giving her a refund.

She's scheduled to make her next court appearance June 4.

Anna is still living at home while her mom battles the charges.


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