Archive for category: Acne

Creams for Wrinkles

Categories: Acne, BLOG, Cosmetic, Dermatological Conditions, Tips and Tricks - Tags: , , , , , , , ,

how-to-use-retinoidsAs a certified dermatologist, I am often asked by patients if there are any creams to prevent and treat wrinkles. Luckily, there is! Retinols are vitamin A based derivative that increase cell turnover and help build collagen. Retinols are also great for treating blackheads/whiteheads and help reduce the appearance of some sun spots by exfoliating them away. Until three months ago, prescription strength retinols could only be prescribed by an MD, however Differin recently became a great OTC alternative. Differin, also known as Adaplene .1% gel, is available over the counter at retailers like Target, Walmart, Walgreens, etc and costs approximately $15 for a 15 gram tube.

Retinols are available in varying strength from low to strong potency. Adaplene is considered a low potency option and is great for people with sensitive skin. However, some individuals may need a stronger retinol such as Retin-A (also known as Tretinoin which is a mid potency medication) or Tazorac (the strongest available retinol). It is best to consult your dermatologist before using any of these medications to determine they are safe for you to use.


Even though adaplene is considered a low potency retinol, it is important to be educated before using it.


All topical medications should first be patch tested on a small area of skin to see how you react to them. For many people, adaplene is a strong retinol and they experience peeling, redness and irritation with overuse. It is best to start using a retinol only a few times a week. When applying a retinol, you should always follow it with a moisturizer to prevent excessive peeling or irritation or even apply moisturizer before and after the retinol, sandwiching it in between to layers of moisturizer. It is best to use a moisturizer that is noncomedogonic product, like Cetaphil or CeraVe, that won’t clog your pores. For people who don’t want the added step of applying moisturizer, the  Tareen Dermatology Retinol Repair 50 is a great option which has moisturizer added to its formulation.


It usually takes two weeks for your skin to get used to a retinol and over several weeks you may be able to increase your usage to every other night or nightly. Retinols are safe to apply long term by all ages but should be discontinued when planning pregnancy.
For other information or to discuss further treatment options, call Tareen Dermatology at 651-633-6883  to schedule your appointment today.

A Probiotic A Day To Keep the Dermatologist Away?

Categories: Acne, BLOG, Cosmetic, Tips and Tricks - Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Woman with perfect skin eats yogurt to keep her skin healthy!

Having probiotics even 3 times a week can have many benefits for the skin. Photo Credits: nenetus/

Probiotics – helpful bacteria that protect the body from harmful bacteria – are everywhere in the media these days. In addition to yogurt, other sources of probiotics include kimchi and the tea beverage kombucha.  For skin health, several studies have shown that probiotics may be beneficial for acne/rosacea, eczema, infections, and even anti-aging.


Probiotics have been shown to reduce inflammation (by preventing the body’s immune response to surface bacteria), thus reducing redness and lesion counts in these conditions.


Probiotics may help reduce the number of infections, particularly with MRSA (a harmful bacteria that lives on the skin) in people with eczema. Probiotics may also help increase the health of the skin barrier and reduce inflammation.

Chronic Wounds:

Studies are underway utilizing topical probiotics to help heal wounds. One study currently shows that a probiotic based gel is more effective than the current standard of care silver based dressing.


Ingestion of probiotics may help protect the skin against sun damage. A study found that mice supplemented with probiotics three times a week experienced less UV damage, and more hydrated skin than those who were not supplemented. Furthermore, the mice that were supplemented had more thick and lustrous fur.

For all of these conditions, the optimal doses of probiotics have not been defined. At our Minneapolis dermatology clinic, I counsel my patients: “A probiotic a day may help keep the dermatologist away!”


Does diet influence acne?

Categories: Acne, BLOG - Tags: , , , , , ,
foods that prevent acne breakouts

Probiotics help prevent acne breakouts

At Tareen Dermatology, we utilize a combination of holistic and medical approaches to achieve clear skin for our patients. Recent research demonstrates that diet may have a significant impact upon acne production. Here is the scoop:

What food to AVOID if you are acne prone:

1. High glycemic index foods: These include foods such as white bread, white potatoes, crackers, pretzels, white rice and other processed, carbohydrate heavy foods. In a 10 week study of teenagers with acne, biopsies of the skin were taken before and 10 weeks after a low glycemic diet. During the 10 weeks, the teens instead consumed multigrains, vegetables, and protein. All of the teenagers’ acne improved. Skin biopsies demonstrated less oil production and overall less inflammation.

2. Skim milk: Skim milk increases the amount of insulin produced by the body. Insulin stimulates acne production and in some women who are prone to excess of testosterone, also facial hair. Cheese and yogurt have not been shown to stimulate acne.

What foods to EAT if you are acne prone:

Yogurt and probiotics: Yogurt with live and active cultures and probiotics actually help protect against acne production. Probiotics regulate the amount of “good bacteria” in the digestive tract and reduce levels of systemic inflammation. Studies have shown that probiotic consumption can also reduce formation of eczema (an added bonus!).

In summary, at Tareen Dermatology we embrace a natural and holistic approach to acne and all skin disorders. This includes dietary interventions and the appropriate use of scientifically proven medications to give our patients healthy, smooth, and glowing skin.

Laser Treatment for Acne Scars in Minnesota

Categories: Acne, BLOG

laser-acne-scar-treatment-minnesota-dermatologyHow unfair it is that once you have finally gotten rid of your acne, you are left with noticeable scars on your cheeks!  Acne scars can sometimes be just as troubling as acne itself.  Some types of scarring, such as the red marks left behind from old acne, can improve over time with little treatment.  Other types of acne scarring, such as atrophic (or ‘pitted’) acne scars, require some sort of intervention to remove.  Thankfully, some of the topical prescription medications that we use to treat acne can also help fill in these pitted acne scars.  However, patients who wish to have dramatic improvement of their pitted acne scars will benefit from laser treatment.

The best treatment for most patients with pitted acne scars is the Fractional CO2 laser.  This laser is a relatively fast treatment that stimulates the production of healthy collagen to resurface the texture of the skin.  By stimulating healthy skin cells to replace the scarred tissue, the acne scars will become smoother over time.  This laser treatment for acne scars in Minnesota continues to produce improvement for up to six months after a single treatment.  Most patients require only one treatment for dramatic improvement of their acne scars.  The best part about Fractional CO2 laser resurfacing treatment for acne scars is that the results are permanent.  Tareen Dermatology in Minnesota is proud to offer this treatment for our patients, in order to get rid of acne scars permanently.  Other treatments for pitted acne scars include dermal fillers, subcision, chemical peels, and other laser treatments.  During your initial visit, we will discuss all of the options for acne scar treatment, and determine which is the best treatment for acne scars on your skin.

Begin Acne Treatment During Acne Awareness Month

Categories: Acne, BLOG

acne-treatment-minnesota-awareness-monthHappy Acne Awareness Month!  June is the National Acne Awareness month, presented by the American Acne and Rosacea Society.  Acne Awareness Month was introduced as a way of educating the public about the importance of treating acne and preventing the development of permanent acne scars.  In honor of Acne Awareness Month, Dermatology PA Lauren Sundick put together the following list of the most important things that you need to know about acne treatment in Minnesota.

  • Don’t hesitate to visit a professional!  Over-the-counter acne treatments can be expensive, and often do not get rid of acne sufficiently.  Even very mild acne is best treated with prescription medications or in-office acne treatments.  Your dermatologist will be able recommend the best treatment for your skin and get rid of acne as quickly as possible.
  • Acne treatments can make you look younger!  Prescription-strength retinoids have been proven to not only treat and prevent acne, but they also diminish the appearance of fine lines and prevent wrinkles.  It is not unusual for adults to develop acne, and thankfully the treatments used for acne also keep your skin looking healthy and youthful.
  • No home surgery!  There is no best way to pop a pimple.  It is best to avoid picking at acne or trying to pop a pimple in the bathroom mirror; these actions can cause more inflammation on your skin, which may increase your risk of developing permanent acne scars.  If a pimple shows up before a big event, its best to contact your dermatologist’s office – they will often be able to squeeze you in for a cortisone injection, which will flatten the pimple within a day or so.
  • Believe the hype!  The Clarisonic Cleansing Brush actually works and is an excellent treatment for acne.  Cleansing your skin with the Clarisonic removes excess oil and debris from your pores six times more effectively than traditional face washing.  We have seen so much improvement when our patients begin to use the Clarisonic Cleansing Brush, that we started carrying it here at Tareen Dermatology.
  • Don’t ignore your skin care routine.  Even people with oily skin will find that they need a lightweight lotion once they have started to use prescription acne medications.  Look for a lotion that is labeled non-comedogenic (or non-acnegenic), which means that it won’t clog your pores or cause acne.
  • You aren’t stuck with your acne scars!  Although scarring is permanent, if left untreated, there are excellent treatments now available for acne scars. We utilize the Fractionated CO2 Laser, which stimulates your skin’s own collagen to fill in the pitted acne scars.  Most patients require only one treatment.

How Does the Clarisonic Work?

Categories: Acne, BLOG, Cosmetic

does-clarisonic-work-dermatology-minnesotaThe Clarisonic brush is one of the most popular skin care items at Tareen Dermatology in Minnesota these days.  Advertising is everywhere and inferior copycat cleansing brushes are popping up every month.  How does the Clarisonic work?  Is it ‘worth it’ to purchase a Clarisonic?

Physician Assistant and longtime Clarisonic user Lauren Sundick explains, “The Clarisonic brush cleanses the skin with a unique oscillating brush.  Studies have proven that the Clarisonic brush cleans out your pores up to six times more efficiently than regular face washing, in addition to making the skin brighter and smoother.  Patients will call me a few weeks after they begin using the Clarisonic brush, just to share how great their skin is looking and feeling.  Additionally, I’ve had many patients who avoid more serious acne treatments, like isotretinoin, by cleansing their skin more effectively with the Clarisonic brush.”

Tareen Dermatology in Minnesota offers the Clarisonic brush to our patients, because we feel strongly that it is the most effective cleansing brush on the market.  Not only does the Clarisonic brush have excellent research proving that it actually works, but the company offers a money-back guarantee.  If you don’t like the brush, you simply return it for a 100% refund.  Believe it or not, we have not had a single person return the Clarisonic brush after trying it!

Tareen Dermatology offers both the Clarisonic Pro and the Clarisonic Mia.  The Clarisonic Pro is available only through a dermatologist’s office and has multiple speeds, brushes, a charging cradle, and can even be used to treat the back and chest.  The Clarisonic Mia is the travel version of the Clarisonic brush.  While it does not have all of the ‘bells and whistles’ that make the Clarisonic Pro the best Clarisonic brush on the market, it is certainly an excellent choice for someone who wants to start using a Clarisonic cleansing brush for the first time.

How to Use Retinoids

Categories: Acne, BLOG, Cosmetic

how-to-use-retinoidsTopical retinoid creams (such as Retin-A, tretinoin, Tazorac, and Differin) are commonly prescribed by dermatologists.  They work by regulating skin cell turnover, making them excellent medications for treating acne, preventing wrinkles, and even clearing psoriasis.  The problem is that many people, particularly when using retinoids to treat acne or prevent wrinkles, find retinoids too irritating to use.  Luckily, when used properly, nearly everyone can use a retinoid cream.  The trick is to follow the directions below on how to use retinoids, in order to get the full benefit from this excellent medication, without dryness and irritation on the skin.

  • Apply only a pea-size amount to cover the entire surface of your face.  One pea size dollap is sufficient to cover the face, even if it seems like too little.  In the case of acne, it is important to treat the entire face, not just acne bumps, as retinoids help to both clear and prevent new acne from forming.
  • Immediately after applying retinoids, apply a thin layer of a moisturizer.  This will help to prevent excess dryness, without interfering with the action of the retinoid cream.
  • Begin by using the new retinoid cream two to three nights a week.  If you do not experience dryness, you can increase the frequency of use by one night every week.  Eventually, most people can tolerate using their retinoid at least five nights a week, though it may take time to reach this point.

New Acne Treatments for Adult Acne

Categories: Acne, BLOG

stk66455corAcne is, unfortunately, not just a teenage problem.  It is very common for both women and men to experience acne (sometimes for the first time!) in their late 20’s and 30’s.  Lauren Sundick PA-C, an acne expert in Minnesota at Tareen Dermatology, reviews new acne treatments for adult acne:

  • Chemical peels: In-office chemical peels can speed up improvement of adult acne.  Salicylic acid chemical peels help to clean out clogged pores, which would otherwise attract acne-causing p. acnes bacteria and lead to the development of acne.  Additionally, a short series of chemical peels can improve the appearance of post-acne red marks and post-acne dark spots on the skin.
  • Anti-androgen medications: For some women, the androgenic influence on their skin (from male hormones) causes increased sebaceous gland activity.  The result is excess oil production on the skin, which can clog the skin’s follicles and lead to the development of acne.  Medications such as spironolactone and oral contraceptive pills can decrease the androgenic influence on the skin and stop these hormonal breakouts.
  • New creams for acne: Topical prescription acne medications do not have to cause dryness or irritation to the skin!  Newer formulations of prescription acne creams have excellent technology, to ensure that the medication is absorbed into your pores, without causing irritation to the skin.  Even retinoids, traditionally very irritating medications, have now been reformulated to prevent excessive dryness – this is especially important during our dry winter months!
  • Clarisonic brush: The Clarisonic brush is an oscillating cleansing brush, which can be used to clean out your pores and get rid of dead skin cells on the face and body.  Studies performed by Clarisonic showed that the brush removes makeup and debris from the skin up to six times more effectively than traditional face washing!  Our adult patients love the smooth, vibrant look that the Clarisonic gives their skin after regular use.  Tareen Dermatology is proud to carry both the Clarisonic Pro and Clarisonic Mia for our patients.

Chemical Peel for Acne

Categories: Acne, BLOG

Chemical peels for acne are an excellent way of treating acne more quickly than prescription treatments alone.  While prescription medications often yield significant improvement of acne, they can take 4-6 weeks to even begin working!  Chemical peels help prescription medications to work more quickly and work when performed in combination with prescription treatments; chemical peels can also be used on their own to treat acne that has not responded to other treatments or for patients who do not wish to apply topical medications at home.

Lauren Sundick PA-C is an acne expert in Minnesota at Tareen Dermatology.  She notes that, “Salicylic acid chemical peels are an effective method of treating acne; they work by exfoliating the skin cells that are clogging the pores and attracting the acne-causing bacteria.  Additionally, salicylic acid peels can lighten the marks left behind from old pimples and improve the general appearance of the skin.”

We recommend a series of 3-5 salicylic acid chemical peels for optimal improvement of acne.  For most patients, peels are performed at one month intervals.  During your visit for a chemical peel, we will review how to care for your skin after the visit.  However, it is important to plan for a few days of mild redness and peeling following your salicylic acid chemical peel for acne.

Acne Tips From Top Minnesota Dermatologist

Categories: Acne, BLOG - Tags: , ,

As the holidays approach, we are all looking to clear up acne quickly.  The best approach to treating acne is to visit your dermatologist for a complete evaluation.  There are actually different types of acne, and of course many different skin types, so each patient is treated with a unique regimen that addresses their specific needs.  Dr. Tareen, a top Minnesota dermatologist, notes that, “I often meet my patients for the first time, after they have tried many over-the-counter acne medications.  I recommend that even people with very mild acne visit a dermatologist, in order to stop acne before it becomes more severe or even causes scarring on the skin.  However, while you are waiting for that appointment, there are a few key things to keep in mind.”

Here are Dr. Tareen’s acne tips to follow at home:

  • Don’t pick or pop your pimples: Picking at your pimples can seem like a good idea when you’re looking in the bathroom mirror.  The truth is that picking your pimples can actually cause more inflammation to occur on the skin, which can make the pimples larger and cause them to stick around longer.  Instead of picking, apply a tiny dab of salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide spot treatment to the area.
  • People with acne prone skin can benefit from using a cleanser with benzoyl peroxide once a day.  Benzoyl peroxide helps to kill the p. acnes bacteria that causes acne.
  • Using a glycolic acid or salicylic acid pad to unclog your pores after working out will help to prevent acne caused by exercising.
  • Don’t forget sunscreen! Even people with acne prone skin need to protect their skin from both UVA and UVB rays.  The truth is that some acne medications can cause your skin to be a little more sun sensitive, so its important to use sunscreen every morning and to reapply every two hours while you are outside.  Find a sunscreen labeled “non-comedogenic” or “non-acnegenic,” which means that it was studied and proven not to cause acne.

Click here to learn more about acne treatments in Minnesota.


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