Tag Archive for: winter

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.

 

Bed bugs at your hotel? A guide to prevention.

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

As we enter the holiday travel season, I would like to educate my Tareen Dermatology patients about bed bugs, and more importantly, how to avoid picking them up at hotels.

Bed Bug bites often occur in a line or pattern.

Bed Bug bites often occur in a line or pattern.

Bed bugs are parasitic insects of the cimicid family that feed exclusively on blood. Cimex lectularius is the most common type of bed bug and the type that causes most human infestations.

Unfortunately, bed bugs can live months (and even YEARS) between blood meals. Bed bugs also lay a great deal of eggs and have many offspring. In addition, bed bugs have evolved to become resistant to many insecticides and can survive weeks at extreme temperatures. Thus, PREVENTING bed bugs infestation is the best strategy.

At hotels:

  1. Look around: Bed bugs like right angles, so they can be found on headboards, bed frames, mattress piping, drawers, and windows. They can also be present on the under surfaces of furniture or in peeling paint.
  2. Check for droppings: Bed bug droppings typically are round brown splotches. Check mattresses and sheets as well as other furniture. If droppings are seen, bed bugs have been there and are probably still there.
  3. Follow the 3 foot rule: Check areas within 3 feet or so of hotel beds for evidence of bed bugs as this is the typical distance that they travel.

If you picked them up at your hotel and are now home:

  1. Utilize high heat: Heavy vacuuming and steaming may kill bed bugs if the temperatures are high enough.
  2. Lose the insecticide and forget cold: Insecticides are rarely effective. Bed bugs can also withstand freezing temperatures. Heat and mattress encasements tend to be most effective.
  3. Call Dr. Tareen: For resistant infestations, there are pills and topicals that can be prescribed.

If infestation with bed bugs does occur, do not worry. Bed bug bites are not dangerous. They are however very itchy and do look bad. So, follow the above tips to prevent these little nuisances from ruining your winter vacation.

 

 

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.


Finding the Best Moisturizer for Your Skin

Categories: BLOG, Cosmetic, Dermatological Conditions, Tips and Tricks - Tags: , , , , , ,
A great option for a moisturizer contains key ingredients.

The ELITE Fortified Moisturizer contains key ingredients to moisturize dry skin.

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!  

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!).

 

 

 

 

Winter Skin Care Tips

Categories: BLOG, Dermatological Conditions - Tags: , ,

Our first snowfall reminded all of us that winter is quickly approaching.  Gone are the summer days of oily skin; your skin requires extra TLC during the dry winter months in Minnesota.  Tareen Dermatology has created a list of winter skin care tips to keep your skin healthy during the upcoming months.

  • Moisturizing is key!  Choose a thick moisturizing cream (rather than a thinner lotion or oil) for the body.  The moisturizing cream should be applied soon after showering in the morning, and again before bed if necessary.
  • Look for great ingredients – At Tareen Dermatology, we recommend a moisturizing cream that contains ceramides.  Ceramides are unique ingredients that help to repair the skin’s barrier; by repairing the skin’s barrier, moisture is held within the skin in order to prevent excessive dryness in the winter.
  • Use drying medications sparingly – Topical acne medications and anti-aging serums (such as retinoids) can cause dryness on the skin.  Use only a pea-size amount of these medications during the winter months and apply a moisturizer immediately afterward.
  • Don’t forget sun protection – Sun protection, in the form of sunscreen and direct sun avoidance, is just as important during the winter months as it is in July. Remember to apply a sunscreen to your face and hands every morning, and to wear a hat when you will be outdoors during the midday.  Sun damage and skin cancers are caused by both UVA and UVB rays, which are present during the winter months.
  • Persistant dry spots must be checked – Any dry, flaky areas of the face or body that do not improve with regular moisturizing should be checked out right away at Tareen Dermatology.  Certain inflammatory conditions of the skin (such as eczema and psoriasis), as well as precancerous lesions and even skin cancers, can present as dry patches.

 

 

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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