US tanning mom finally stops tanning

When 44-year-old Patricia Krentcil first shocked the world with pictures of her extremely burnt skin, nobody thought she'd ever be able to quit tanning.

According to the owner of the tanning salon she used to frequent, Krentcil would head to the tanning booth about 20 times per month, or about five days per week.

She was so bronzed that dermatologists labelled her a "tanorexic" - a person suffering from a psychological dependence on tanning sessions to feel good.

Neighbours even claimed she went tanning while pregnant with Anna, her 5-year-old daughter. And it was exactly these rash acts that got her into trouble with the authorities.

She was accused in May of illegally taking her daughter into a tanning booth.

Experts say tanning booths can increase the risk of developing melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer, by 75 per cent. It is illegal in New Jersey for anyone under 14 to use a tanning salon.

In her bid to clear her name, Krentcil accepted a challenge from a magazine to stay out of the sun for an entire month - whether it be real or artificial UV rays.

Now she is still tan, but not as charred as before.

She did admit to "cheating" a little by using a self-tanner to bronze her skin, but said otherwise she has kept her word.

Krentcil, who started artificial booth tanning about 12 years ago, said she does miss those first few minutes of lying in a warn tanning bed.

She readily admitted in an interview with the magazine that she had symptoms of 'tanorexia', where she felt at times that she 'needs' to tan, and resorted to spray tans and lotions to darken her skin.

Although doctors did warn her away from tanning, she could not resist the temptation of looking like she "just got back from vacation".

However, Krentcil might not stay pale much longer. She told the magazine that her self-imposed ban is not forever.

"I might squeeze in a tan in here or there," she said.