Tag Archive for: eczema

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.

Children’s Eczema: How to prevent this uncomfortable condition

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

infant-eczemaEczema –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.

Recent research has given new strategies to help prevent this uncomfortable skin disorder.
1. Daily application of emollients from birth: Applying moisturizer from birth has been shown to significantly reduce the development of eczema. The benefit is due to enhancement of the skin barrier.  Researchers propose that daily application of moisturizer to all babies constitutes an effective, safe and cheap strategy to help prevent eczema.
2. Home water softeners: A study in England determined in children genetically prone to eczema, that hard water exacerbated the condition. Further studies are underway.
3. Probiotics: Maternal consumption of probiotics, especially during the third trimester, may reduce the development of eczema. The science shows that probiotics increase the development of diverse gut microbes. These microbes have a protective strategy against eczema.
Simple and effective strategies for eczema are easy to incorporate into our daily lives and can help protect the next generation against this itchy and uncomfortable skin disorder.

 

 

Winter Skin Care Tips

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

winter-skin-care-tips-minnesota-dermatologyWinter 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.

  • Close the bathroom door
  • Limit your time in the shower or bath to 5 or 10 minutes
  • Use warm rather than hot water
  • Wash with a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser
  • Apply enough cleanser to remove dirt and oil, but avoid using so much that you see a thick lather
  • Blot your skin gently dry with a towel
  • Slather on the moisturizer immediately after drying your skin

2. Apply moisturizer immediately after washing. Ointments, creams, and lotions (moisturizers) work by best-moisturizer-winter-skin-dermatology-mntrapping 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:

  • Deodorant soaps
  • Skin care products that contain alcohol, fragrance, or alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA)

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:

  • Go outdoors in winter
  • Perform tasks that require you to get your hands wet
  • Get chemicals, greases, and other substances on your hands
Wear cotton gloves under wool to avoid skin irritation and be sure to avoid wet gloves or cloths which can exacerbate eczema, cracking,  or cause sores.

7. Choose non-irritating clothes and laundry detergent. When our skin is dry even clothes and laundry detergent can be irritating. To avoid this:

  • Wear cotton or silk under your clothing made of wool or another material that feels rough
  • Use laundry detergent labeled “hypoallergenic”

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.

10. As always, continue to wear sunscreen on exposed areas of skin. Light actually reflects off the snow and can cause a severe sunburn. It is especially important to reapply sunscreen if you are performing physically extensive activities such as snowboarding or skiing when you can sweat off your SPF.
When to see a dermatologist
Your skin should start to feel better quickly. If these changes do not bring relief, you may want to contact the clinic. Very dry skin can require a prescription ointment or cream. Dry skin also can be a sign of a skin condition that needs treatment. A dermatologist can examine your skin and explain what can help reduce your discomfort.

 

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/Shutterstock.com

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.

Acne/Rosacea:

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.

Eczema:

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.

Anti-aging:

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!”

 

Treatment for Eczema in Minnesota

Categories: BLOG, Dermatological Conditions - Tags: , ,

Eczema is a genetic condition that is thought to be caused by a breakdown of the skin’s barrier, which allows moisture in the skin to escape, leading to inflammation in the skin.  Eczema is often seen in children, though it can flare at any point during a person’s life.  During the winter months in Minnesota, as the humidity drops, we see many patients who are experiencing eczema flares for the first time.  Treatment for eczema is different for every person.  There are sometimes lifestyle factors (such as jobs that require excessive hand washing or people who develop a contact allergy to the dyes in their clothing) that must be addressed.  For all patients, we recommend using a daily moisturizing cream (a thick cream that comes in a jar, such as Cerave cream, rather than a lotion) in the morning and evening.  Adding moisture to the skin can sometimes help as much as prescription medications!  Regular moisturizing helps to prevent eczema flares during the dry winter months.

Prescription medications for eczema can be very helpful for treating an eczema flare.  Topical steroid medications (such as triamcinolone, desonide, and clobetasol) can be used for short periods of time to decrease inflammation in the skin.  Medications like Protopic block the immune response of eczema and can be safely used on sensitive areas, like the face and groin.  Oral antihistamines and barrier creams are also sometimes used in the treatment of eczema.

For patients with eczema, we recommend a procedure called patch testing.  Patch testing can determine any contact allergies of the skin (meaning, things that you may come in contact with that can cause an eczema flare.)  A panel of numerous potential contact allergens is applied to the back; 5 days later, the sites are evaluated to determine which allergens caused a skin reaction.  Patch testing can yield helpful information for determining which allergens should be avoided in order to prevent an eczema flare.

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