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Winterizing Your Skin

Playing in the snow, drinking hot cocoa and celebrating the holidays with friends and family are just a few of the reasons to love winter. However, as the days get shorter, turning cold and damp, getting the right nutrients is challenging. Although a wide variety of foods contain protein, vitamins A, C, and E, as well as Omega 3s, getting enough vitamin D in winter can be difficult. When vitamin D levels are depleted, not only are your mood and health affected, but it can also take a toll on your skin. At North Metro Dermatology, we customize treatment plans for improved skin health and appearance.

What is Vitamin D?

Often called the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D works with vitamin C to boost your immune system. It is also critical to bone health, and a variety of body functions, including:

  • Healthy heart and circulatory system
  • Brain development
  • Anti-cancer effects
  • Muscle functions
  • Healthy respiratory system

How to Get Vitamin D in Winter

Unlike other vitamins, your body cannot make vitamin D on its own. Its presence enables you to absorb calcium and phosphorus, which is essential in the development of the strength and structure of your bones. Here are some tips for fighting the winter blues and keeping vitamin D levels up.


Eat the Right Foods

Have a serving of fatty fish such as tuna, wild salmon or mackerel a few times a week. Rich in vitamin D, they also have omega 3s and vitamin B12, which can reduce cholesterol. Mushrooms, eggs and fortified foods including almond, cow and soy milk, are good sources of vitamin D.

Take a Vitamin D Supplement

A multi-vitamin containing vitamin D can be taken daily. Speak with your doctor if additional vitamin D supplementation is advisable.

What Not to Do

Do not use a tanning booth as this is not a safe, sensible, or reliable way to increase vitamin D levels. Since UVB is responsible for vitamin D production in the skin, and since tanning beds emit mostly UVA, you would receive minimal UVB exposure in a tanning bed.

How to Prevent Dry, Cracked Skin

Winter weather diminishes the moisture from your skin, resulting in dry, itchy skin. Here are some tips for maintaining a healthy glow.

Moisturizeskin cream North Metro Derm

Choose a moisturizer that is made for your skin type. Apply twice a day, including right after your shower to keep the much-needed moisture from evaporating. Another great option is to apply body oil after showering.


– For very dry, chapped skin, including lips, cheeks, hands, and feet, occlusive products can be even more helpful than basic moisturizers. A great option is SWO Soothing Barrier Ointment. This natural, non-petrolatum based ointment contains ingredients to calm and protect skin. Urea cream can also helpful for dry, rough hands and feet.

Hand Cream

– Central heating and repeatedly washing your hands can cause the skin to crack. Keep a bottle of lotion in your purse or at your desk to use throughout the day.


– Although it may take some preparation, a cool-mist humidifier can hydrate your skin. Even if you only have it on in the bedroom at night, it can help your night cream work better, giving your skin a healthy glow.

Gentle Cleanser

– Many cleansers have sulfates and drying ingredients that can irritate the skin. Cream-based cleansers work well to remove makeup and cleanse dry skin.

Warm Showers

– When it’s below freezing with gusting winds, it may be tempting to take a steaming hot shower. Unfortunately, the scalding water removes natural oils from your skin making it dry and flaky. Try turning down the heat for a more temperate shower.

Contact Us Today

If you suffer through the winter with dry skin or have a chronic skin condition that causes discomfort, contact us today or call 651-789-9800. We provide services that include, laser, cosmetic and dermatology treatments. Our premium skin care products contain high-quality ingredients your skin will love. The providers at North Metro Dermatology recommend a personalized regimen to address your specific needs.

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In addition to harboring bacteria, expired cosmetics may cause skin irritation and eye infections. Recording the purchase date on each cosmetic can be helpful to ensure that items are replaced at recommended intervals.

Powders (including blushes, bronzers, and shadows)
Liquid Foundation
Cream Shadows and Blushes
Lipstick, Lip Gloss and Lip Liner
Pencil Eyeliner
Liquid or Cream Eye Liner
2 Years
1 Year
12-18 Months
12-18 Months
1 Year
2 Years
3 Months
3 Months
Use a specialty brush cleaner or a small spray bottle with isopropyl alcohol for daily brush cleaning – simply spritz brush thoroughly and swipe brush several times on a tissue. Brushes should also be washed at least once weekly to remove buildup of oils, pigments, and breakout-inducing bacteria.
Swirl the bristles in warm water diluted with a gentle cleanser or shampoo. To cut through intense pigments, try dishwashing liquid.
Run the bristles under a steady stream of warm water until it is clear, and all soap and debris are removed. Blot the brush with a clean towel and gently shape the bristles with fingers.
3) DRY
Standing a brush upright is a no-no! Water can wear away the glue around the metal band that secures the bristles to the handle causing the bristles to loosen over time. Instead, lay tools flat on a towel.

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Acne can cause more than blemishes. Studies show that people with acne can suffer from low self-esteem and depression. Fortunately, most insurance plans cover acne visits and acne medications prescribed by a dermatologist. To learn more about acne, visit AAD.org. Complimentary consultations are also available with our esthetician to review treatment options for scarring and discoloration.


  • clean your phone with an antibacterial or alcohol wipe daily
  • change your pillowcase frequently
  • wear mineral makeup
  • clean makeup brushes after each use
  • avoid touching and picking acne lesions
  • apply ice to calm inflamed lesions
  • cover skin while spraying hair products
  • cleanse skin after washing and conditioning hair
  • avoid hot water, aggressive scrubbing and abrasive cleansers
  • take time to relax – stress provokes acne


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To help heal and soothe stinging skin, it is important to begin treating sunburn as soon as you notice it. See our 10 quick tips below and visit AAD to learn more.

1. For immediate relief, soak the sunburned areas in cold water (but not ice water) or with cold compresses for 15 minutes.
2. Keep skin moist with neutral moisturizers. If using aloe vera gel, be sure it’s 100% pure aloe vera and alcohol-free. You may also use EltaMD Moisturizer (available at our clinic).
3. A topical over-the-counter 1% hydrocortisone cream may be applied to relieve itching.
4. Consider taking aspirin or ibuprofen to help reduce any swelling, redness and discomfort.
5. Drink extra water.
6. If your skin blisters, allow the blisters to heal.
7. Avoid loofahs, scrubs and exfoliating products.
8. Do not pull hanging skin as this can remove attached areas that are not yet ready to come off. Cut any hanging pieces of peeling skin with clean scissors.
9. Take extra care to protect sunburned skin while it heals.
10. Severe sunburns should be evaluated by a dermatologist. Symptoms of second-degree sunburn (aka “sun poisoning”) include intense pain and blistering, accompanied by fevers, chills and nausea.

Lastly, we can’t help to not add that prevention is the best remedy. Complimentary consultations are available with our esthetician to learn about optimal sun protection.

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Vitamin D is crucial for your health. Getting vitamin D from a healthy diet is a safer alternative than indoor tanning or the sun, which can increase your risk of skin cancer.
To read more, CLICK HERE.

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More people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year than with cancers of the breast, prostate, lung, and colon combined, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. And while it’s most common in fair complexions and those with a history of even one bad, blistering burn, it can develop in any skin tone or types, anywhere on the body. The good news is that the disease has a very high cure rate when caught early and removed surgically, frozen with liquid nitrogen, or treated with low-dose radiation.

The music world lost a legend in May 1981 when reggae artist, Bob Marley, died after a four-year battle with a melanoma that started on his toe. A melanoma even a millimeter deep is already deep enough to breach the bloodstream and export cancer to the rest of the body. More often than not, as Marley’s case shows, such an aggressive melanoma is nearly impossible to treat. Yet the five-year survival rate for those that catch melanoma before it spreads is an astonishing 99%. In other words, Bob Marley probably could have survived had he allowed a timely amputation.

Help encourage early detection of skin cancer by reminding your friends and family of the importance in scheduling a skin exam with a dermatologist. Fortunately, most medical insurance plans cover this routine visit. Please be sure to remove all nail polish from fingernails and toenails since skin cancers can form below nails and nail beds.

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When you think of summer, you think of beaches and outdoor fun in the sun. However, keeping your family protected while outdoors is challenging when information about the risks and benefits of sun exposure are confusing:

• Sun provides Vitamin D.
• Sun exposure can cause skin cancer.
• It causes 90% of all skin cancers.
• Overcast days are not much safer than those that are sunny, as 70-80% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays can get through the clouds.
• The sun is about 80% stronger when reflected off sand and snow.
• The sun’s rays increase in intensity by about 4% for every 1,000-foot rise in altitude.
• It’s better to play or engage in sports before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m. If that’s not possible, try to avoid being out at high noon.
• The sun weakens the immune system, reducing your defense against infection.
• In general, people can get all the vitamin D they need for strong bones from fortified milk, salmon, vitamin supplements and/or brief, casual exposure.
• Zinc oxide provides superior protection from UVB and UVA rays. Your daily sunscreen should have an SPF rating of 30 or higher and should also contain at least 5% zinc oxide.

So, the question is, why do some doctors say that sunlight is good for you if others say it is dangerous?


What are the dangers of the sun?


Overexposure to the sun, at a minimum, prematurely ages your skin. The ultraviolet (UV) rays are invisible and can affect skin even on cloudy days. The damage can be visible with uneven skin tone or hyperpigmentation, a mild sunburn that causes redness and itching or severe burning that can cause blisters and peeling skin.
Over time, the damage to your skin adds up. At a minimum, it can cause a loss of elasticity that leads to sagging and wrinkles. In other cases, it can result in skin cancer. There are three main types of skin cancer.
1. Basal cell carcinoma
2. Squamous cell carcinoma
3. Melanoma
If you’ve spent time in the sun, you should make it a practice to examine your body for moles, lesions or other signs of sun damage. Our dermatology office offers mole mapping to monitor for changes in moles. The mapping can be scheduled at any time.


Is some sun exposure good for you?


Light exposure to the sun can be fun and healthy, as long as you follow a few sun safety facts. Exposure to the rays of the sun can help regulate our moods by producing serotonin, the hormone that can make us feel relaxed and happy. Sun exposure can help prevent and treat symptoms of seasonal affective disorder.

It also helps to manage our circadian rhythms by producing melatonin that helps us to sleep when the day is done. The same melanin that is produced in response to UV rays also triggers an increase in the production of vitamin D levels that creates strong bones and can prevent some diseases.

How much sun a day is healthy?


The amount of UV exposure needed each day could vary according to the individual’s risk factors. However, a useful sun safety guide is around 15 minutes of sun exposure during non-peak hours per day, several times per week. It is still critical to use UV protection.

A broad-spectrum coverage with an SPF of at least 30 is recommended by dermatologists for all skin types to prevent skin damage. Don’t forget to reapply sunscreen at least every two hours. It is also a good idea to use an antioxidant serum as a part of your skincare routine to prevent free-radical damage.

If you’ve spent too much time in the sun, some procedures can reverse signs of sun damage. Our office performs chemical and laser peels that resurface the skin, remove hyperpigmentation and improve the skin’s texture. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact us at North Metro Dermatology today.


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Studies have found a 59 percent increase in the risk of melanoma in those who have been exposed to UV radiation from indoor tanning, and the risk increases with each use. Research demonstrates that even people who do not burn after indoor tanning or sun exposure are at an increased risk of melanoma if they tan indoors. Even one indoor tanning session can increase users’ risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma by 67 percent and basal cell carcinoma by 29 percent. Learn more about the dangers of tanning in the article by Dr. Sherri Long and Dr. Anudeep Rahil published in Minnesota Health News.

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Dr. Sherri Long and Dr. Anudeep Rahil are awarded “Top Doctors” again for Mpls./St. Paul magazine! READ MORE HERE!

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