Psychiatric Quarterly, Vol. 77, No. 2, Summer 2006 (
TANNING IN BODY DYSMORPHIC
Katharine A. Phillips, M.D., Michelle Conroy, M.D.,
Raymond G. Dufresne, M.D., William Menard, B.A.,
Elizabeth R. Didie, Ph.D., Jennifer Hunter-Yates, M.D.,
Christina Fay, B.A., and Maria Pagano, Ph.D.
Published online: 16 June 2006
Tanning in body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) has not previously been stud-
ied. In this study, 200 subjects with BDD were evaluated with measures to
examine the prevalence of BDD-related tanning—i.e., darkening one’s skin
color by direct exposure to sunlight or artiﬁcial light which is motivated by
a desire to improve a perceived appearance defect (i.e., a BDD concern). We
also examined clinical characteristics of individuals who engaged in BDD-
related tanning. 25% (95% CI, 19.0%–31.0%) of subjects reported BDD-related
tanning. Among tanners, the skin was the most common body area of con-
cern (84.0%). All tanners experienced functional impairment due to BDD, 26%
had attempted suicide, and quality of life was markedly poor. 52% of tanners
Katharine A. Phillips, M.D., William Menard, B.A., Elizabeth R. Didie, Ph.D., and
Christina Fay, B.A. are afﬁliated with Butler Hospital, Providence, RI.
Raymond G. Dufresne, M.D. and Jennifer Hunter-Yates, M.D. are afﬁliated with Rhode
Island Hospital, Providence, RI.
Katharine A. Phillips, M.D., Michelle Conroy, M.D., Elizabeth R. Didie, Ph.D., and
Maria Pagano, Ph.D. are afﬁliated with the Department of Psychiatry and Human Be-
havior, Brown Medical School, Providence, RI.
Raymond G. Dufresne, M.D. and Jennifer Hunter-Yates, M.D. are afﬁliated with the
Department of Dermatology, Brown Medical School, Providence, RI.
Address correspondence to Katharine A. Phillips, M.D., Butler Hospital, 345 Black-
stone Blvd., Providence, RI 02906; e-mail: Katharine
2006 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.