Freeman Cebu Lifestyle

Skin Republic

Jennifer Toledo-Tan M.D. - Banat

Dear Dr. Jen,

I have white bumps around my eyes.  At first, I thought they were whiteheads so I kept getting facials.  But I was told it was syringoma.  I've been using a cream to help fade it but it hasn't done anything so far.  What is the best treatment for this?



Dear Ellie,

Syringomas are commonly mistaken as white heads or milia.  Pricking and poking them will usually yield no sebum and nothing comes out.  They look like 1- to 3-mm bumps and are only visible up close.  They are common around the eyes, forehead and cheeks.  These are benign tumors, caused by an over growth of sweat ducts.

Removal via the usual method of cautery will ensure recurrence of the tumor.  These syringoma buggers run deep, down in the dermis, and to remove it, you need a more final solution.  Laser can do the trick.

However, be prepared for some downtime.  Complete healing can take a few weeks.  If you are willing to have it done via laser, make sure you have no major events or beach outing scheduled in the next two weeks.


Dear Dr. Jen,

I work as a chef at a hotel.  Lately I noticed that the area around some of my nails is red.  It is not itchy, and it doesn't cause me any discomfort.  I just don't like looking at it.  Is this something I should be worried about?



Dear Melvin,

Being a chef has its challenges.  Aside from the pressures at work, you will also encounter problems related to food handling.  Exposure to papain or acidic food or likely ingredients that break down the barrier of the skin can make you susceptible to bacteria entering the skin.  When your hands are constantly wet, they are also prone to developing infections.  What you have may be called "paronychia", which loosely translates as infection of the nail folds.

Paronychia can be either fungal or bacterial in origin.  The usual treatment is mere application of an anti-fungal or anti-bacterial ointment twice a day for seven days.  However, it must be taken into consideration that you work with your hands.  You can also be prescribed with oral medications.

Wearing protective gear like gloves can help preserve the integrity of the skin.  Keeping hands well-moisturized while not at work can help restore the skin barrier. Preserving the cuticles (and not having them nipped off) can add extra protection too.  Best of luck!

Dr. Tan is a diplomate of Philippine Dermatological Society (PDS) and is affiliated with Perpetual Succour Hospital (PSH). For information on PDS, check http://www.pds.org.ph/. For questions or concerns, please text to: 0932 857 7070; or email to: [email protected]; or call The Freeman: (032) 2531276, or PSH: (032) 233 8620 and 232 5929. Your inquiries will be forwarded to Dr. Tan.

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