Snob Essentials

Sun Exposure: Is the Risk worth the Pleasure?

I am pleased to introduce you to my dermatologist (one of the best in the biz in my opinion!)– Dr. Rick Wilson. Dr. Wilson has agreed to be our resident Beauty Snob Beauty Doc and will answer any questions you may have about your skin! Please post your questions in comments and I will submit them to him each month. To make an appointment for a magnified full-body skin cancer scan call (972)-560-6360 for an appointment.


Sun Exposure: Is the Risk Worth the Pleasure?

By: Rick K. Wilson, M.D.

Director, Preventive and Cosmetic Dermatology, Cooper Clinic at Craig Ranch.

The golden tan that people love is actually an injury response to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) damage. Combine that with multiple dark moles and your risk of skin cancer—possibly fatal melanoma—increases dramatically. Fair-skinned individuals have an even higher risk of skin cancer at a younger age. Yet, you can control many of the cancer risks by getting a meticulous skin examination.

Malignant melanoma, or black mole cancer, is now the No. 1 fatal cancer in young women 26-28 years of age. And, the overall risk of melanoma has risen dramatically from one in 1,500 in 1920 to one in 63 at present. More than 1 million skin cancers are detected annually in the U.S. with 10,850 deaths from skin cancer—8,110 of those from melanoma—according to the American Cancer Society. An estimated 60,000 new cases of melanoma are anticipated for 2008. That’s why early detection is life saving.


Medical research points to lifestyle issues as the primary cause for skin cancer. Tanning year round, from the summer sun to winter tanning beds, has seriously increased the cumulative UVR trauma to the skin.

Three simple behavior changes in your lifestyle will reduce your risk of the skin cancer threat:

o Properly apply the new broad spectrum (UVA and UVB) sunscreens at SPF 45-85, which can prevent most sunburns and some skin cancers.

o Avoid tanning beds as their deeper penetrating UVA light causes more rapid sagging and wrinkling change, and combined with sun exposure, causes redness and spider veins, blotchy discolorations, and dry coarsening.

o Get a yearly thorough skin examination. For those at increased risk, this provides the highest probability of early detection for the best outcome.

Prevention is the key. Don’t accept anything less than a meticulous head-to-toe magnified examination of your skin by a board certified dermatologist. Unfortunately, most dermatologists don’t take the time for a thorough exam. Consistent with the reputation for superb preventive medicine, Cooper Clinic at Craig Ranch provides first-class preventive and corrective skin care solutions.

If you are concerned that significant UVR damage has already occurred, there are corrective procedures available to regain healthier luminous skin. Procedures available include FotoFacials, photodynamic therapy, Botox, dermal fillers, chemical peels, laser therapy and home application of research-based antioxidant lotions.

Dr. Wilson has more than 25 years experience in preventive and cosmetic dermatology and is Board Certified in Dermatology and Phlebology, the evaluation and treatment of varicose veins. He is a nationally-known lecturer on skin care and varicose veins, and a former medical school instructor in advanced skin therapeutics.

Contact Dr. Wilson at:

Cooper Clinic at Craig Ranch

7850 Collin McKinney Parkway (Hwy. 121 and Alma Rd.)

McKinney, TX 75070




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  1. I have a question for the good doctor!

    I have very fair skin, I always stay out of the sun, apply moisturiser (under eye and night cream too!), exfoliate three times a week and I use toner. I haven’t changed my routine, but since having my daughter, my skin has changed dramatically! I’m 23, didn’t have a pimple all throughout my teenage years (maybe one once a month, kwim?), but now I have blackheads everywhere, especially along my chin. What should I do to get rid of them? Exfoliation doesn’t seem to be working anymore (I use Origins Never A Dull Moment). Thanks for your time!

  2. Tina, this is such a great idea! Thank you for always providing us with the most wonderful forum for information and discussion!

    My question to the acclaimed Dr. Wilson is about acne scars. I am 23 and have been suffering from pretty mild bouts of acne since my teenage years. Even though I won’t have more than one or two pimples at a time, these pimples leave very dark and red scars that I can’t seem to get rid of. I have extremely fair skin so you can imagine how bad this looks. My cheeks and chin especially have numerous red marks all over them, ones which I have to cover meticulously every morning as I never leave the house without make-up due to their severity. I hardly suffer from acne anymore (perhaps two or three pimples a month), but really want to get rid of the scars.

    I have done microdermabrasion, used glycolic peels (at the dermatologist’s office as well as Natura Bisse’s Extreme Glyco Peel as recommended by Tina), had the green peel twice (helped very much but new scars developed with any pimples I had after that), and also various lotions and creams and serums but nothing has helped 🙁

    Please Dr. Wilson, answer my question because you could potentially change my life!

    Thanks Tina! Thanks Dr. Wilson!

  3. I personally cannot wait to see the current batch of golden-tanned Hollywood starlets in about 10-15 years…when their time under the sun or the bulbs really starts to show…

  4. Thanks, Tina, for the chance to ask questions!

    Dr. Wilson,

    I am 34, and fair with dark hair. Because I was concerned with wrinkling/spotting prevention, I saw a dermatologist and started using Retin-A micro gel in its gentlest formulation in May. Unfortunately, not only do I see almost no benefit, I have new dark spots, despite using stable sunscreens like Neutrogena 85 with Helioplex every day, reapplying, and never sitting out in the sun — and despite using Skinceuticals Phyto+ every day for the past year, which also hasn’t worked to get rid of dark spots. Should I try and get a scrip for a different retinoid, and if so, what might be best? Also, what can I do to attack dark spots? Thank you!!

  5. I am a 21 year old female with blonde hair and green eyes. For the last few years, I have been going to the tanning salon about once a week, every week. I do not burn ever nor does my skin look overly tan, as it turns my otherwise pale skin to more of a normal shade. My mom always yells at me for going tanning because both of my grandpa’s had skin cancer on their faces and due to all the skin cancer hype in the news these days.

    My question: Am I at a higher risk of skin cancer for visiting the tanning salon once a week?

    This is my only way of getting Vitamin D, as I never go to the beach, lay out to tan, go outside much (other than walking to my car), and usually I can be found inside with my window shades closed (therefore, no UV risk there either). Also, when I go to the tanning salon, I do not tan my face at all. I usually put a towel over my face, in addition to being protected with SPF 20 moisturizer and SPF 15 foundation, which virtually blocks all rays from my face –> without makeup, I look like Casper the ghost! AH!

  6. Brianne, if you’re concerned about your vitamin d intake then you can get it from food sources. If someone in your family has had skin cancer then you’d be better off learning to love porcelain skin and maybe up your spf levels.

  7. I’m not concerned about my Vitamin D intake. With all of the recent news of Vitamin D deficiency and the conflicting advice many doctors have been giving; I was just trying to point out that I’m literally never in the sun, ever and therefore, without tanning, I would also be Vitamin D deficient.

    My main reason for tanning is for the endorphins, besides exercise, it is the only thing that has helped me feel better (from depression).

  8. Hai, Dr. Wilson…

    My quetion to you is that I have several rashes & itchy in my legs area which is when I came to the doctor, she said that I had dermatitis (which is this is the second time actually). The first time I had it, the rashes & itchy feeling gone. But, after few months it comes back again. My doctor said one of the reason why I had dermatitis is because I had an allergic with something. But, until now I haven’t figure it out the trigger why I could had that disease. Because, I dont have any allergic history before. Can it be cure forever? I dont want this disease appears again. Because this is very irritating, not mention very disgusting.

    And one more question, I also had several strechmark at my thighs. I am desperately want to remove those strechmark with all strechmark cream that I could find. And after I tried a lot of skin products that guarantee to erase the strechmark apperance, but it still didnt work. Could you suggest what should I do to get all those strechmark gone?? Should I get plastic surgery??

    Thank you….

  9. tell me about your arms if that have moles,freckles, blemishes what color are they what they look like on your arms were about they are on arms how meny u have help me 2 no about sun exposure the arms look like in the sun.