The story this week that a New Jersey mom allegedly let her 5-year-old daughter suffer second-degree burns by placing her in a tanning booth shocked the country.
But now, the concern is for the mother herself whose deeply bronzed complexion might indiciate she's addicted to the UV rays that have colored her skin.
Patricia Krentcil, 44, of Nutley, denies the allegations that her child Anna was burned in the tanning salon incident.
"It's all made up," Krentcil said in court on Wednesday when she pleaded not guilty to child endangerment.
"Never in my life would I endanger my child by putting her in a tanning booth. I'm not dumb," she said according to Reuters.
A dermatologist writing in the New York Daily News said that "tanorexia" is a term for people who've become addicted to artificial tanning.
During an interview Wednesday with CBS, Krentcil's pigment appeared even darker than in her mug shot. Her skin is dark brown while her daughter's alleged burn appears to have healed.
The controversy started on April 24 when a school nurse examined Anna, who had a severe sunburn. The girl said she'd been tanning with her mother, but her parents say she spent too much time outside on a hot day.
The owner of City Tropics salon said Krentcil pays a monthly fee for unlimited tanning sessions, according to ABC News. The owner said she typically visits five times a week for 12 minutes in a standup booth. The owner vouched for Krentcil, saying that Anna waited outside the booth with other employees.
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