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BAINBRIDGE --A mom of four, Michal Johnston's escape is a quick trip to the tanning salon.

"I'm also a nanny, so I'm around kids all the time," Johnston said."A ten minute break in a tanning bed is very relaxing. Very therapeutic."

She began tanning a year and a half ago to treat psoriasis, but has kept up the tanning two to three times a week because it is relaxing.

"It can be addicting," she said.

In fact, researchers say it can be as addicting as drugs.

Dr. Kord Honda, a dermatologist at University Hospitals, says there is no known number of sessions it takes for tanning to cause serious skin damage, but the practice is linked to deadly skin cancers.

He says it's best to avoid tanning, but says it is true that there are addictive qualities.

"The tanning increases your internal hormones that makes you feel good," Honda said."The opiates inside your body that make you feel good."

With the New Jersey mom accused of taking her 5-year-old along to the tanning bed, Dr. Honda recognizes a problem.

"It does look like she has significant skin damage," he says of the mother.

Johnston says she's not sure if she'll eventually stop tanning, but says she wouldnever let her children -- even her teenagers -- under a tanning bed lamp.

"There's a point where it crosses the line," Johnston said.

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