Bumpy arms?

With most of the country in the midst of a heat wave, men and women are baring more skin. Sleeveless tops are meant to make you feel cool — not embarrassed about the bumpy “chicken-skin” on the back of your arms.  This common disorder is a condition referred to as keratosis pilaris (KP).  The American Academy of Dermatology estimates that 20-40% of all adults are affected by KP.

  • What causes KP: KP is caused when keratin (a skin protein), blocks the hair follicle and forms hard plugs.  It is an autosomal dominant genetic trait with variable penetrance. This essentially means that most likely, someone else in your family also has KP. Continue reading

Safety In The Nail Salon

A recent trend that has hit the nail salons with a bang is the gel manicure. These are special types of manicures in which gel acrylics are applied to the nail and then cured or cross linked by ultraviolet (UV)  lamps. During the procedure, multiple coats are applied to the nail and each coat is followed by UV light exposure. The popularity of the gel manicures lies in its multiple benefits: a look that is natural,  glossy, and long lasting.

But are there dangers associated with these manicures and more specifically the UV light exposure? Continue reading

How Do I Choose an Eye Cream?

With the plethora of eye products available on the market, it can be confusing and difficult to choose the right eye cream for you. Devising a systematic approach to choosing your eye cream will help optimize your results and minimize adverse effects. There are three main issues you need to consider:

1.Do I have sensitive skin or can I tolerate stronger products?

This is a very important question to consider as eyelid skin is Continue reading

Do I really need a separate eye cream?

photo courtesy of Dead Sea Spa Care

Cosmetic companies have perpetuated a myth through the years that all individuals need to invest in a separate product for the eyes. Typically, these eye creams, serums, and gels are miniscule and have elaborate packaging. They also have exorbitant price tags.  But, do you really need a separate product just for the skin around the eyes?

Background:  The skin around the eye is thinner than the rest of the skin on the face. This makes it more prone to fine lines and wrinkles. Furthermore, the skin around the eyes has few sebaceous glands (oil producing glands) and thus more dry than other facial skin.

Why you do NOT need a separate eye cream:   You should already be utilizing a good regimen, incorporating antioxidants/growth factors/peptides and retinoids.  Gentle emolliating creams also help to seal in the properties of these active ingredients and give hydration. If you are already utilizing a great Continue reading

Chemical Peels for Melasma Explained

Melasma is a condition characterized by patches of hyperpigmentation usually located on the face. It is believed to be caused by an interplay of hormones or medications and sun exposure. Melasma is more common in women and may be associated with oral contraceptive use and can occur in pregnancy. Although less common, melasma can also be seen in men. Continue reading

I got a suburn- now what do I do?

Even celebrities get sunburnt!
Kim Kardashian photo courtesy of http://www.centralinteriordesign.com

A common misconception among my desi patients is that they are immune to sunburn. In fact, I want our ethnic skin readers to realize that brown skin can burn. Unfortunately, brown skin burns can occasionally be worse than burns in lighter skin tones for two main reasons:

  • The individual does not realize that burning is occurring until a significant burn occurs
  • Not only does the burn and subsequent peeling occur, this burn then causes irregular discoloration (namely light and dark spots) that persist for months.

Continue reading

Melanoma Monday: 10 Lifesaving Tips

Today — Monday, May 7th — is Melanoma Monday. Melanoma Monday is a vital day to increase awareness of the deadliest form of skin cancer.  Throughout the United States dermatologists are hosting educational events and free skin cancer screenings to help increase public knowledge about this insidious skin cancer. In Minnesota, Dr Mohiba Tareen is kicking off Melanoma Monday Continue reading

What make-up should I use, Doctor?

This is an exceedingly common question among my female patients. Most women know to use only non-comedogenic and oil free products to avoid clogging pores and producing acne but still have questions regarding the ideal make-up to use. Along with many other dermatologists, my resounding response is to utilize a mineral based make-up usually in a loose powder form. These products provide excellent coverage and camouflage, are generally non-irritating, and are well tolerated by acne prone skin. A number of mineral based make up products are currently available including the following brands:  Bare Minerals, Bare Escentuals, Glo Minerals, and Jane Iredale just to name a few. Continue reading

Have summer fun guys … but avoid those fungi!

Summer is fast approaching which for many means fun in the sun, swimming pools, increased gym time to get beach ready…. and an increased risk of acquiring the dreaded “athlete’s foot”. Not just a problem for athletes, “athlete’s foot” is actually caused by a fungus that invades and proliferates in the skin. It can spread to the hair and nails but does not spread internally. Signs of athlete’s foot include red, scaly patches on the bottom and sides of the foot, cracks between the toes, and sometime small little blisters. Continue reading

What SPF sunscreen should I use?

photo courtesy of http://www.allure.com

A fascinating new dermatology study shows sunscreens with SPF 70+ actually provide more protection.  This is because all of us routinely under-apply sunscreen. We are supposed to apply 2 mg/cm2 of sunscreen (approximately 1 oz of sunscreen for the body or a shot glass full). However, the actual protection we Continue reading