A PLETHORA of skin conditions have emerged under the new normal of wearing masks, constant hand washing and regular hand cleansing with alcohol, among others.
"These protective measures resulted in acne flare-ups, folliculitis, contact dermatitis, and exacerbation of pre-existing skin conditions like atopic dermatitis. Moreover, due to the stress brought about by the pandemic, certain conditions like urticaria, psoriasis and hair loss have been frequently seen by dermatologists," says Dr. Jennifer Aileen Ang-Tangtatco.
She and her clinic partner Dr. Bryan Edgar Ko Guevara who are both board-certified and fellows of the Philippine Dermatological Society (PDS) recently opened Southeast Dermatology's (SED) new location at The Compound in Matina, Davao City.
The two young doctors trained at the Southern Philippines Medical Center and impressively finished as among the most outstanding residents during their time. They then took further training internationally in their own respective fields. Currently, both are teaching at the Brokenshire College School of Medicine.
New normal skin problems
Dr. Tangtatco shares that based on the guidelines of the American Academy of Dermatology, there are different ways to prevent face-mask skin problems such as "maskne."
"Mask wearers should wash their face with a mild fragrance-free cleanser and use less of irritating skin products. They should likewise avoid make-up when wearing masks to avoid further clogging of pores," says Dr. Tangtatco.
On the other hand, Dr. Guevarra recommends that one should wear a soft and breathable mask that offers "a snug and comfortable fit with a 15-minute mask break every four hours, when it is safe to do so". It is also equally important to follow the treatment plan created by board-certified dermatologists.
In addition, with online classes and the work-from-home set-up, the two dermatologists noticed that their patients have stress-induced skin conditions.
"Stress can increase skin inflammation, especially because the brain and skin are connected. Therefore, coping with stress will be important to retain or regain skin health. One needs to have a proper skin care regimen, healthy diet, and regular exercise to maintain healthy skin during this pandemic," emphasizes Dr. Tangtatco.
For busy mothers who do not have time to give special attention to their skin, Dr. Tangtatco advises that they should have a basic skin care routine which includes a mild cleanser to take off the dirt while maintaining the skin's pH balance, a moisturizer to keep the skin hydrated, and a broad-spectrum, photostable sunscreen to keep the skin protected.
Reaching more patients
Starting as a partnership in Sibley Medical Arts Building at Brokenshire Hospital last 2017, SED is committed to expand its services and reach more patients, especially during this pandemic.
Dr. Tangtatco and Dr. Guevara have different specialties that include medical and cosmetic dermatology, pediatric dermatology, photodermatology, wound management, dermatopathology, immunodermatology, and molecular dermatology.
SED'S modern and bigger clinic has ample space for consultation and treatment rooms to assure patients of effective, safe, and affordable services in pathologic and aesthetic/cosmetic dermatology.
"The decision to launch SED's new location is timely since patients are more cautious to seek consultation in hospital-based clinics. We strictly follow proper safety protocols to assure patients a safe and enjoyable visit in our new clinic," declares Dr. Guevara.
Special thanks to The August Portfolio for the photos on this page.
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