Freeman Cebu Lifestyle


SKINREPUBLIC - Jennifer Toledo-Tan M.D. - The Freeman

Dear Dr. Jen,

The back of my hands have itchy rashes that come and go. What is the cause of this? I've been having these rashes for the past few years and I would want a more permanent solution.


Dear Lisa,

You might be having a case of contact dermatitis. Your hands might have come into daily contact with a product that may have cause irritation to your sensitive skin. The palms are usually spared as the skin on this side is thicker and offers more protection.

You can head over to your ever-reliable PDS derma for a prescription of an anti-inflammatory cream. This will relieve you of both the itch and the rash. But, as I'm sure your PDS derma will stress, continued exposure to the irritating chemical will unceasingly produce new rashes; hence, the come-and-go cycle. Complete avoidance to the triggering product or using a barrier (gloves) whenever using the product, will lend you a more permanent cure.

Here are the six top most irritating things that you may unknowingly expose your sensitive hands to:

1. Soap. Over-washing the hands tend to strip the skin of protective moisture. Using dishwashing liquid, anti-bacterial washes, fragrant body wash, and bubble bath should be avoided.

2. Household disinfectants. This includes all purpose cleaners, window cleaners, toilet disinfectants, furniture polish, drainage cleaners, and detergents.

3. Latex.  This is the component of rubber found in gloves, bra straps, elastic waistbands.

4. Fragrances. Creams, soaps and lotion that are heavily scented can cause irritation to the skin.

5. Facial creams. Facial creams that contain anti-acne products or wrinkle prevention products (i.e., salicylic acid) can inadvertently transfer to your hands and give you dermatitis.

6. Plants. Exposure to some garden variety while gardening commonly leads to dermatitis if the resin of the plant is allergenic.


Dear Dr. Jen,

My skin has gotten uneven with dark patches after I gave birth to my second child.  I am now pregnant with my third one and I don't want my skin condition to worsen.  Please help me.  I don't know what products are safe to use during pregnancy!



Dear Josie,

Dark patches that result after pregnancy are called "chloasma" or sometimes "melasma."  The hormones that go berserk during pregnancy, combined with some sun exposure (we can't help it; we live on a tropical island!) can lead to those dark spots.  Freckles also tend to worsen and some skin tags (mislabeled as warts) also love to multiply during this period.

Removal and treatment can be delayed until after you give birth, since this is not an urgent matter. You may also defer applying whitening products (although vitamin C based ones are generally safe) to after you give birth. What you can do to avoid worsening of the pigmentation is consistent application of sunscreen to your face and neck.  This will save your skin from deepening of your existing chloasma and also avoid formation of new ones. Sunblock, sunblock, sunblock!  I cannot repeat it often enough.  An SPF of 50 or higher is advised, and application even when indoors is a must.

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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