Tag Archive for: skin

Tanning-do I need a base tan?

Categories: BLOG, Dermatological Conditions, Health, Skin Cancer, Tips and Tricks - Tags: , , , , , , ,
Photo courtesy of npr.org

Photo courtesy of npr.org

Spring is one of the best aspects of Minnesota. We all emerge from our winter hibernation to enjoy the warmer temperatures and especially the rejuvenating sunshine. Unfortunately, sun and UV exposure come with risks. Many of my patients comment on their pale legs and skin unaccustomed to sunshine and cannot wait to get that first bit of tan.  Society has conditioned us to think that a tan is healthy, but, in fact, a tan is your skin’s way of trying to protect itself from the harmful effects of UV exposure.

Ultraviolet light is part of the energy emitted from the sun. It is imperative for life on Earth, but can also cause harmful damage when the energy disrupts the normal cells of the body. There are two types of ultraviolet light present in sunlight: UVA and UVB. These cause different effects in the skin because they penetrate to different depths of the skin. UVA rays penetrate to the deeper layers of the skin and play a major role in tanning, photoaging (wrinkles, sun spots, broken blood vessels, laxity), and skin cancers. UVB rays can only go into the more superficial layers of the skin. These rays are the main contributor to sun burns and skin cancers, and they also play a role in suntans and photoaging.

UVA rays are the principal player in the tanning process. The skin tans as a way to try to protect us from further sun damage. Think of a tan as your skin putting up little umbrellas to try to keep out more sun rays. This is a highly imperfect system as we can still get lots of sun damage through this tan.

Tanning beds use a concentrated form of UVA that gives you up to 12 times the amount you would get from outdoor sun exposure. This is an efficient way to give you a tan, but also drastically increases damage to the skin and skin cancers. Remember, a tan is your body’s signal that it is being damaged so by the time you tan, a significant amount of harm has already occurred.

Photo courtesy of skincancer.rog

Photo courtesy of skincancer.rog

Because of this concentrated exposure, people who use indoor tanning devices are at an especially increased risk of skin cancers. According to the National Skin Cancer Foundation, people who use tanning beds are 2.5 times more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma and 1.5 times more likely to develop basal cell carcinoma. The younger you are at first use, the higher the risk. Young people who use a tanning bed are at a whopping 75% increased risk of getting melanoma.

Tanning does not protect you the way many people think. Getting a base tan from tanning beds before going on spring break does not help to reduce your risk of sun damage, burns or skin cancers from the sun. In fact, even going tanning a few times a year before spring break, prom or homecoming significantly increases your risk. Going just four times per year during high school/college results in a 15% increased risk of BCC, 15% increased risk of SCC, and an 11% increased risk of melanoma.

photo courtesy of spraytanningtips.com

photo courtesy of spraytanningtips.com

Skin cancer is easily treated when caught early, but can result in significant scarring and disfigurement. Protection and prevention should be a part of your daily routine. Sunscreens with a broad spectrum protection and an SPF of 30 or higher as well as special sun protective clothing are important to limit the amount of UV exposure our skin gets. Especially avoid tanning beds. If you simply must do something with those pale winter legs, opt for a spray tan or self-tanner lotions.

Everything you need to know about Laser Hair Removal

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

Spring has sprung and it’s time to think about swimsuits, shorts and shaving. In the summer months, I often see an increase in the number of patients experiencing painful ingrowns, folliculitis and general skin irritation as a result of shaving. For patients looking for a more permanent treatment option I often recommend laser hair removal.

The laser targets dark, pigmented hair in the active growth stage. Because there are three cycles of hair growth: active, transition and dormant, and since the laser is only effective on one cycle, laser hair removal requires a series of treatments usually spaced 4-6 weeks apart. After each treatment, patients will notice a patchy decrease in their hair growth.

Unlike waxing, hair does not have to be grown out to be treated, so you can shave or clip between treatments (however, no waxing or tweezing as this will disrupt the hair follicle). Six to nine treatments are usually required to produce the most noticeable results.

Beware that laser hair removal is not a permanent solution, there will always be some maintenance required as new hair follicles develop. Laser hair removal is also only effective on pigmented hair that the laser can target, no grays or blonde.

At Tareen Dermatology, our laser hair removal is a safe and effective treatment option for all skin types.

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.

 

 

Vitiligo: Causes and Treatment

Categories: BLOG, Cosmetic, Dermatological Conditions - Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
Tareen Dermatology patients before and after completing treatment

Actual Tareen Dermatology patients treated with excimer laser for vitiligo

 Vitiligo is an auto-immune disorder which causes white, de-pigmented patches to appear on the skin. 

Although it is unknown why the immune system attacks the pigment cells, we now have excellent treatments to help achieve re-pigmentation of the skin.

One of the most exciting advances in the treatment of vitiligo is the excimer laser. The excimer laser utilizes an anti-inflammatory, focused wavelength of light to target inflammation in the skin and stimulate re-pigmentation. 

Phototherapy, which utilizes safe narrowband UVB, is another successful treatment modality for widespread vitiligo. These quick and painless treatments utilize a full body light source to target inflammation and bring back the skin’s natural color.

There are many benefits to the excimer laser and phototherapy treatments for vitiligo including:

-Safety: These anti-inflammatory wavelengths of light only target the skin. There is no systemic absorption, thus treatments are safe for almost all ages and individuals.
-Efficacy: Treatments bring back pigmentation (either completely or at least partially) in over 80% of individuals.
-Cost: Insurance covers the cost of most treatments (including Medicare).

Tareen Dermatology in Roseville, Minnesota is proud to offer these safe and effective laser and light treatments for vitiligo. Individuals with these white patches do not need to suffer anymore – Tareen Dermatology is happy to help! Dr. Mohiba Tareen will be on ABC’s Twin Cities Live, channel 5, discussing vitiligo treatments on Monday, August 1st at 3 pm or contact our office for more information.

A Natural Option to Treat Warts!

Categories: BLOG - Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Warts are growths on the skin caused by infection with human papillomavirus (HPV). Many warts resolve on their own. It may be advisable to seek the help of Dr Tareen and her colleagues if warts are large, painful, rapidly spreading, or causing social stigma.

There are many treatment options for warts. My own 5 year old son had a monster wart on his foot that we attacked with liquid nitrogen, laser, cantharidin (a topically applied medication), as well as home treatment with duct tape. After 6 in office treatments his wart is finally gone! Luckily, I can get most of my patients wart free with less than 6 treatments.
Kashi Tareen Wart Before After

After many years of stubbornness, Kashi’s wart is finally gone!

A recent study highlighted oral zinc supplementation for treatment of pediatric warts. In children who were treated with zinc, 87% of the children cleared the wart in 2 months compared to 0% in the placebo group. The dose of zinc recommended is zinc sulfate 10 mg/ kg/ day (up to 600 mg/day) for up to 2 months. All children in the treatment group reported nausea, but no other side effects. No recurrence of the warts was noted at 6 months.

Thus, zinc, which is safe and natural, can be used for wart treatment (although nausea may be rate limiting). It is always nice to have a natural option!

 

 

Gingko Bilboa- Restoring Natural Pigments in Vitiligo

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

Vitiligo is an autoimmune condition where the skin loses its pigmentation. The reason the immune system starts attacking the skin pigment cells is unknown. Vitiligo is not uncommon – it is estimated that 1-2% of individuals will suffer with an area of vitiligo at some point in life.

Before and after of vitiligo treatment.

Before and after of vitiligo treatment.

Recent treatment advances are helping individuals achieve regimentation.  A combination of excimer laser treatments (which utilizes a targeted, non-cancer causing wavelength of light) as well as topical creams can be very effective and life changing.
A recent Cochrane review of vitiligo treatments published on Feb 24, 2015 also lists gingko as an effective treatment for some individuals with vitiligo. Patients given gingko biloba 40-60 mg 2-3 times per day, 10 minutes before meals, showed improvement in the their pigmentation. Importantly, very few adverse effects were noted.
Thus, gingko biloba may be a great, safe adjunct for individuals with vitiligo. In conjunction with laser therapy and topicals, we may be able to restore natural pigmentation!

 

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!”

 

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