Tag Archive for: dermatologist

Helpful Hints to Prevent Itchy Skin for Kids

Categories: BLOG, Dermatological Conditions, Health, Tips and Tricks - Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

As we head into winter, many of us in Minnesota suffer from itchy, dry skin and eczema. A few tips to help prevent our kids from developing similar conditions:

1. Barrier therapy: Using moisturizer on our children may be key to preventing eczema. A recent study showed that infants that were treated with daily moisturizer prior to 6 months of age had lower rates of eczema and food allergy development. Moisturizer maintains the barrier function of the skin and prevents allergens from penetrating into the skin.

 

2. Probiotics: The studies on probiotics have shown that they create a modest benefit for eczema reduction. Probiotics may also help prevent food allergy development. For my own children, I try to give them a greek yogurt daily- this helps with calcium as well!
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3. Vitamin D supplementation:  Low levels of vitamin D may promote skin inflammation. Particularly in the Minnesota winter, where it is difficult to obtain enough vitamin D from the sun, it may be beneficial to supplement vitamin D. Please discuss how much to supplement with your pediatrician.

Vitamin D bottle with spilled contents isolated on white background

4. Humidifier in the bedroom: Maintaining ambient humidity has been shown to hydrate the skin and prevent itching. Our skin rejuvenates while we sleep, thus the ideal place for a humidifier is in the bedroom (and this tip is great for parents too!).

Humidifier spreading steam in a dark room

As itching and eczema are very common in the Minnesota winter, these tips may help prevent bad flares in our children. If your child is itchy or suffering from an eczema flare, Tareen Dermatology can always help.

Can I Prevent Skin Cancer?

Categories: BLOG, Skin Cancer, Tips and Tricks - Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

An epidemic is sweeping our nation – skin cancer is on the rise with over 4 million new cases diagnosed every year in the United States.  The vast majority of these skin cancers are of the basal and squamous cell carcinoma type. These types of skin cancer have an indisputable link with sun exposure. Melanoma type skin cancer is also increasing- this more deadly subtype has both a sun induced and genetic component. As a society, we are now quite conscious about sunscreen. Are there other things we can do to help prevent this epidemic of skin cancer?

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  1. Nicotinamide: Also known as vitamin B3 – nicotinamide has been shown in several trials to reduce the incidence of non-melanoma skin cancer. A trial of 386 Australian patients who had more than 8 skin cancers over the past 5 years showed that those who took nicotinamide had a 23% reduction in skin cancers compared to those who took placebo.  Furthermore, those in the nicotinamide group had a 13% reduction in precancerous lesions known as actinic keratoses.  Not only is nicotinamide effective, but it is quite affordable (typically about 6 cents per day) and well tolerated, with no major adverse effects.  Here is a link to a previous Tareen Dermatology blog post on nicotinamide: http://www.tareendermatology.com/cms/2015/06/29/a-pill-today-to-keep-cancer-away/

Photo credit: biophix.com

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  1. Polypodium leucotomos: Also known as the calaguala plant, this product is commercially available in a standardized product called Heliocare. The evidence for this plant extract is that it acts as an antioxidant- protecting the skin against free radical damage that stimulates mutations and skin cancers. Since free radicals also contribute to skin aging, Heliocare is also thought to have a cosmetic benefit!

Photo credit: heliocare.com

 

  1. Milk thistle: Also known as Silybum marianum, this plant is still being studied to reduce skin cancer. In animal studies it does have a protective benefit.  Furthermore, it is safe and inexpensive.

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Photo credit: naturemade.com

At Tareen Dermatology in Roseville, Minnesota we hope that all of our patients both protect their skin with sun protective clothing and sunscreen as well as prevent skin cancer with these great natural strategies!

Sunscreen Recommendations

Categories: BLOG, Dermatological Conditions, Health, Skin Cancer, Tips and Tricks - Tags: , , , , , , , ,
There are so many options when it comes to picking a sunscreen. You should always be looking for a broad spectrum 30+ SPF.

There are so many options when it comes to picking a sunscreen. You should always be looking for a broad spectrum 30+ SPF.

The Spring Break season is upon us and as a board certified dermatologist I am often asked by my patients about what to look for when choosing a sunscreen.

When looking for a sunscreen I always recommend a mineral based product that will create a physical barrier on the skin, particularly sunscreens that contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. In contrast, the chemical based sunscreens (long names include avobenzone, octocrylene, ecamsule, etc.) must be absorbed into the skin to provide sun protection. Also good to know – the mineral sunscreens provide almost immediate protection while chemical sunscreens need to be applied approximately 30 minutes prior to going outside in order to be effective.

Zinc is the only ingredient that I use for my children’s sunscreen. In fact, the FDA recommends zinc as the main sunscreen ingredient for babies.

Zinc alone can be very chalky and white so it is important to look for the words “micronized.” This is a process whereby the mineral particles are made finer and more cosmetically elegant (but does not decrease the sunscreen efficacy).

A few brands that I like: Elta MD sunscreen, Vanicream sunscreen (made in Minnesota!), CeraVe AM, and of course the Tareen Dermatology SilkShade.

A few other good tips to keep your skin safe while enjoying the beautiful weather:

  • Look for broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher
  • Sun protective clothing and wide brimmed hats can be stylish and comfortable
  • Do not “lay out” to get a base tan: this only provides an SPF of 4 and falsely makes one think they are protected
  • UV blocking sunglasses and lip balm are imperative (ocular melanoma and lip cancers are on the rise!)
  • Remember, there are statistically more skin cancers on the left side of the face and body due to chronic sun exposure from driving- use extra protection on the left side and think about investing in UV tinted windows
  • Examine your skin head to toe once a month and see your dermatologist yearly for a skin exam

As a board certified dermatologist, I can assure my patients that NOT using sunscreen increases the risk of sun damage and skin cancer.

The Importance of Skin Cancer Screening at any Age

Categories: BLOG, Dermatological Conditions, Skin Cancer, Tips and Tricks - Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

“I never used sunscreen when I was younger”, “That freckle has been there forever!”, “I didn’t realize I was able to have a yearly skin check with my insurance”.

Melanoma-Chart

ABCDE of Melanoma

These are comments from patients that we hear everyday in our clinic. Many patients may not know the benefits of skin screening, or what to look for when they do at home skin exams. The great majority of patients do not know that skin cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in adults in the United States today. Each year, over three million patients with be diagnosed with basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers and over 75,000 will be diagnosed with melanoma. Basal and squamous cell carcinomas are rarely fatal, although they can result in significant problems if left untreated. It is estimated that over 10,000 patients in the United States will die from melanomas in 2016.

Everyday at Tareen Dermatology, we diagnose and treat all types of skin cancers. Each skin cancer can be treated in a variety of ways, and we have resources to treat you. It is important for everyone to have their yearly skin checks and also be aware of what to look for at home.

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends full body skin exams for all adults over the age of 18, as well as for any younger patients who are at a higher risk for skin cancers. If you have a family history of melanoma, more than 50 moles on your body, or if you have had a significant amount of UV exposure you should be screened for skin cancers. During the full skin exam, your Provider will take a look at all of your skin from your scalp to the spaces in between your toes! If there are any lesions that look suspicious, they may recommend a biopsy. If you need a biopsy, the procedure is quick and easy as illustrated in this video. Biopsy results are usually provided to the patient within 14 days.

Between your in-office skin exams, it is important to also be checking your skin monthly to look for any changes. The ABCDE’s of melanoma provide a quick and easy guideline of “red flags” to look for with moles or freckles. Many patients will come in with concern about a freckle that is changing in appearance, or is suddenly painful, itchy or bleeding. If you notice that you have a lesion that matches any of the ABCDE’s, it is recommended to follow-up in clinic for a spot check.

Skin cancers can occur anywhere on the skin, and they can occur on all skin types and colors. In Minnesota we have one of the highest rates of melanoma in the country. It is important to protect your skin on a daily basis with SPF 30+ UV broad spectrum sunscreens, as well as visit your Dermatologist for a yearly check up.

If you would like to schedule an appointment for a skin exam or spot check, please call our office at 651-633-6883or email us at appointments@tareendermatology.com.

 

 

Antibacterial soaps: More harm than good?

Categories: BLOG, Dermatological Conditions, Health, Tips and Tricks - Tags: , , , , , , , ,

handwashing-banner1As we head into flu season, the benefits of washing hands with soap and water cannot be over emphasized. But what soap exactly should you be washing with?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a final ruling to pull triclosan and triclocarban from the market. The reason for the ban on the ingredients was multifactorial:
  • Manufacturers failed to show the ingredients to be safe for daily long term use
  • Manufacturers failed to show the ingredients are better than plain soap and water in preventing illness and the spread of infections
The FDA’s rule does not apply to hand sanitizers, wipes, or anti-bacterial products used in health care settings.


According to Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research “In fact some data suggest that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long term.”

 

From my perspective — as a board certified dermatologist practicing in the cold and dry Minnesota climate — I suggest everything in moderation: wash your hands with plain old soap and water, leave the antibacterial soaps for the hospital setting, and moisturize frequently to prevent dry skin and cracks that then subsequently spread infection.


TCL Feature 10/18 at 3pm-Psoriasis: Causes and Treatment

Categories: BLOG, Dermatological Conditions - Tags: , , , , , , , ,
A real Tareen Dermatology patient before and after 3 months of phototherapy treatment.

A real Tareen Dermatology patient before and after 3 months of phototherapy treatment.

Psoriasis is a chronic (persistent), auto-immune skin disease. It presents as thick patches of skin that can appear anywhere on the body and look red and scaly. Psoriasis occurs when a person’s immune system sends signals to the skin cells, which cause them to grow more quickly than usual. This results in many skin cells piling up on the surface of the skin, which appear as thickened plaques.

There are other conditions associated with psoriasis, including psoriatic arthritis, heart conditions, depression and obesity. Psoriasis most commonly appears on the scalp, knees, elbows and torso but it can appear anywhere on the body. New research shows that almost 5% of the population may be affected by psoriasis.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for psoriasis. However, there a several methods for controlling and managing the symptoms.

-Topical Medications: Help reduce the inflammation and thickened plaques that result from psoriasis.

-Laser/Phototherapy: Use safe wavelengths of UV light to target specific lesions or to treat the entire body.

-Injectable/Oral Medications: Such medications include Humira ®, Stellara ®, Cosentyx and Otezla. These medications can have serious side effects and should be used under the supervision of a physician.

Tareen Dermatology in Roseville, Minnesota is proud to offer these safe and effective treatments for psoriasis. Contact our office for more information or to schedule an appointment. Dr. Mohiba Tareen was featured on ABC’s Twin Cities Live, channel 5, discussing psoriasis treatments on Tuesday, October 18th at 3 pm. Check out the video here.

 

 

Startling Rise in US Melanoma Incidence

Categories: BLOG, Dermatological Conditions, Skin Cancer - Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
Melanoma Incidence Map Tareen Dermatology Roseville Minnesota Minneapolis St. Paul Twin Cities

Melanoma has a higher incidence rate in Minnesota than you would think (Photo courtesy of EPA.gov)

According to the CDC, a startling increase in the number of cases of melanoma has been seen over the past 30 years. Data shows that from 1982- 2011 the number of cases of melanoma doubled from 11.2 to 22.7 per 100,000 people. The annual incidence is expected to peak at 112,000 new cases of melanoma by 2030.

The survival for those diagnosed with early stage melanoma is good: greater than 90% of those diagnosed with early melanoma are expected to survive 10 years. Unfortunately, the survival rates of those diagnosed with advanced or metastatic melanoma are very poor.  The 10 year survival for stage 4 melanoma is only 10-15%.

There may, however, be many new therapeutic options for the treatment of advanced melanoma that will hopefully improve outcomes. Since 2011, the FDA has approved eight new agents to treat metastatic melanoma.

Still, the main message of melanoma experts is prevention. The earlier an atypical skin lesion is caught and removed, the higher the rate of cure and survival. Please remember to schedule your regular full skin exams and perform self-skin exams monthly.

Our team at Tareen Dermatology is proud to participate in the cure for melanoma at the Twin Cities Miles for Melanoma Walk this year on August 13th. Don’t worry, we’ll be walking with sunscreen!

 

The Best Way to Shave

Categories: BLOG, Dermatological Conditions, Tips and Tricks - Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
Man shaving

For men who are going for the clean shaved look, it’s important to consider these tips. (Photo courtesy of the GroomingArtist.com)

Many men are prone to ingrown hairs. The scientific term for this condition is called “pseudofolliculitis barbae.”

Ingrown hairs in the beard area result from small, shaved hairs curling back into the skin. The embedded hairs then form a bump. These bumps can get inflamed, infected, and eventually lead to scarring.
The easiest treatment is to stop shaving. According to experts, ingrown hairs spontaneously release after 1 centimeter of growth. Dr. Tareen and her colleagues frequently write letters of medical necessity for patients’ jobs that document their necessity to limit shaving.
Some men may desire or need a clean shaven appearance. Below are great tips to help prevent ingrown hairs:
1. Use a single- blade razor:  Single blade razors shave less closely and prevent small hairs from curling into the skin. Razors should be replaced every five to seven shaves.
2. Use electric clippers: Clippers are another great option. The blade setting that allows 0.5-1mm of stubble tends to be the most effective at limiting ingrowns.
3. Shaving technique is important:  Before shaving, men should wash with a mild cleanser using a gentle circular technique to free any embedded hairs. During shaving, a moisturizing shave cream should be used. Shaving should always be done in the direction of hair growth.
4. Laser hair removal is a great option: Permanent reduction of hair is both cost and time effective when factoring in the cost/ time of shaving.
Gentleman who are still developing ingrown hairs should see Dr. Tareen. Prescription topical washes and creams can be effective at reducing ingrown hairs and scarring.

 

Is my water making me itchy?

Categories: BLOG, Dermatological Conditions - Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dry, itchy skin is quite common to the brave individuals who live through Minnesota winters. However, did you ever think that your water could be making things worse? A new study reveals that having hard water is linked to eczema and increase itching in kids.

Researchers in England founds that children who lived in hard water areas (defined as calcium carbonate concentration of 258 mg/ L in the water supply) had up to a 5 times higher risk of developing eczema.  Scientists theorize that hard water alters the barrier function of the skin. This may allow allergens and bacteria into the skin, leading to itching.  It has yet to be shown if these kids’ eczema improved when a water softener was introduced, but these studies are pending.

Happy Holidays to all and thank you for the well wishes- new baby Khalil is almost 1 month old (and we will try not to expose him to any hard water!).

 

 

 

 

Even Having Normal Moles Quadruples Your Risk of Melanoma

Categories: BLOG, Skin Cancer - Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Atypical (Dysplastic) Nevi (courtesy of WebMD)

A recent study in Great Britain compared approximately 300,000 individuals with normal moles to 10 million individuals with no moles and followed them from 1999 -2011.  Researchers found that the mole group developed 4.67 times more melanoma.  These melanomas were found both at the site of pre-existing moles and elsewhere on the body.

Dermatologists already know individuals with atypical moles (also referred to as dysplastic nevi) have an up to 27 times higher likelihood of developing melanoma than the general public. The British study is noteworthy as it demonstrates that even individuals with normal moles have a higher risk of melanoma.
A few other relevant facts discussed in the study include:
  • Approximately 50% of melanomas develop in pre-existing moles (thus even a mole you have had your entire life can change and become melanoma)
  • The greater that number of moles, the higher risk an individual has of developing melanoma
Thus, Minnesota dermatologist Dr. Tareen and her Roseville dermatology colleagues recommend daily sun protection, monthly self-skin checks, and yearly professional full body exams. Also remember, if a mole changes, it is time to call your doctor– melanoma is one cancer that is preventable!
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