Eczema –a skin disorder characterized by rough, red, scaly and itchy skin — is on the rise. It is estimated that up to 20% of children in the United States suffer from varying forms of this disorder.
Winter in Minnesota means lots of cold, dry air which reeks havoc on your skin. Dry skin can itch, flake, crack, and even bleed and without a change in your skin care, dry air can even make fine lines and wrinkles more noticeable.To help heal and prevent dry skin follow these few simple steps as provided by the American Academy of Dermatology.
1. Prevent baths and showers from making dry skin worse.
2. Apply moisturizer immediately after washing. Ointments, creams, and lotions (moisturizers) work by trapping existing moisture in your skin. To trap this much-needed moisture, you need to apply a moisturizer within few minutes of drying your hands or body. We like to recommend Cetaphil and CeraVe as good everyday moisturizers for all of our patients.
3. Use an ointment or cream rather than a lotion. Ointments and creams are more effective and less irritating than lotions. Avoid scented products that can increase skin irritation. Shea butter and coconut oil also work well.
4. Wear lip balm. Choose a lip balm that feels good on your lips. Some healing lip balms can irritate your lips if they are scented. If you experience any tingling sensation, do not use the lip balm. We like to recommend Aquaphor to all of our patients.
5. Use only gentle, unscented skin care products. Some skin care products are too harsh for dry, sensitive skin. When your skin is dry, stop using:
6. Wear gloves. Our hands are often the first place we notice dry skin. You can reduce dry, raw skin by wearing gloves. Be sure to put gloves on before you:
7. Choose non-irritating clothes and laundry detergent. When our skin is dry even clothes and laundry detergent can be irritating. To avoid this:
8. Stay warm without cozying up to a fireplace or other heat source. Sitting in front of an open flame or other heat source can dry your skin.
9. Add moisture to the air. Plug in a humidifier. If you can check your home heating system, find out if you have a humidifier on the system — and whether it’s working. Central heating actually blasts hot dry air throughout your home.
“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”.
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.
As 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?
Warts are growths on the skin caused by infection with human papillomavirus (HPV). Warts have the potential to grow on skin anywhere, and their appearance can change based on where they are growing. For instance, warts on the bottom of the feet (“plantar warts”) can look more flat on the surface of the skin, whereas warts on the fingers or the elbows may grow out from the skin more. We don’t know exactly why some people get warts while others never get them. If you have had a wart yourself, you know that they can be a nuisance but will eventually go away with treatment!
There is no single, perfect treatment of warts: however, at Tareen Dermatology we have a variety of treatment options to help get rid of your warts no matter their location. Treatment consists of destroying the outer layer of skin that the wart grows on, and thus ridding the body of the wart. Most commonly a wart will first be treated with liquid nitrogen or cantharidin, which is an irritant to the skin. The cantharidin may cause a blistering reaction to gently lift away the wart from the skin below. Some patients will undergo laser treatment for their warts, which is performed in-office with no down time. The treatment to be used on your wart depends on their location and size, your type of skin, and the judgement of the Dermatologist.
As a dermatologist with more than 10 years of clinical experience I am asked daily about the “best moisturizer.” I always answer that it comes down to personal preference but there are certain ingredients and properties to look for.
1. Emollients/Humectants: These ingredients include glycerin, hyaluronic acid, sodium hyaluronate, sodium PCA, lactic acid, and urea. Emollients actually increase the water holding capacity of the skin and lead to skin hydration. One moisturizer known as Lac-hydrin (lactic acid cream) has been shown to be so powerful in FDA trials at opening up water channels and encouraging hydration that it has been made a prescription.
2. Occlusives: These ingredients limit water evaporation from the skin. They include petrolatum, mineral oil, silicone derivatives (dimethicone, cyclomethicone), cocoa butter, sesame seed oil, etc. Plant butters and oils do not block water loss from the skin as well as petrolatum and mineral oil – however, they are more natural and thus appeal to some individuals.
So choose key ingredients in each class that appeal to you and find your ideal moisturizer!
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.
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.
Many men are prone to ingrown hairs. The scientific term for this condition is called “pseudofolliculitis barbae.”
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!).