Freeman Cebu Lifestyle

Skin Republic

Jennifer Toledo-Tan M.D. - The Freeman

Dear Dr. Jen,

I am a 24-year-old security guard and frequently on the night shift.  Lately, I've noticed some pimples growing on my face.  It looks red around the area where the pimples are. What can I do to stop it from worsening?  Is there something I can apply to make it go away?


 Dear Rollie,

One of the main culprits that cause pimples is stress or lack of sleep.  Being on the night shift makes you vulnerable to breakouts, especially if there is a strong genetic predisposition in your family for acne formation.  Pimples, even the mild kind, can become red and itchy.  Using very strong soap and other irritating products like toners and exfoliating scrubs, can worsen the condition.  Staying under the sun can also cause more redness in the involved area, especially if you are using anti-acne medications.

First of all, try shifting to a gentle baby soap (Ivory, Tender Care, Dove, Oilatum, Cetaphil etc.), so it will not become more red and inflamed.  Then you can apply some benzoyl peroxide gel or some preparations that contain clindamycin plus adapalene.  You can start by using the products every other day to slowly let your skin get accustomed to the meds.  Once your skin has adjusted, you can start applying it daily.

Most anti-pimple meds may cause a temporary period of "worsening" for the first two weeks.  This is not unusual and you shouldn't panic.  Just persist in applying and you can start to see improvements by the third or fourth week of medication. The meds may make you more sensitive to the UV rays.  So if you are constantly under the sun, make sure to apply some non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic sunscreen. If you are planning to be under the sun on a certain day, it may be prudent to not apply any medication a day or two prior to sun exposure. 

Dear Dr. Jen,

I am a diabetic in my 50s and my sugar is mostly under wraps.  My problem is my lower limbs which have discolored.  It is also itchy, especially when I touch the area.  I've tried OTC skin ointments but it only offers temporary relief.  What is the right thing to do to stop the problem?  Is there anything that can stop the itchiness and remedy the discoloration?


Dear Rene,

Diabetic skin is almost associated with dry skin and poor circulation.  This predisposes the patient to not only infection, but also their fair share of itchiness.  On the lower legs, where poor circulation is particularly more pronounced, skin tends to be scaly, dry and itchy.  Taking short baths, as well as using very mild cleansers and moisturizing generously will prevent further dryness and itching.  Steer clear of loofah or scrubs since this will abrade very sensitive skin.

There is a condition found among diabetics, called diabetic dermopathy.  This is characterized by reddish brown, round patches on the shins.  This kind of skin condition mostly occurs in patients where blood sugar is poorly controlled.  It is related to abnormalities in the blood vessel and nerves common in diabetics.  This usually requires no treatment.  Regaining control of your blood glucose consistently may reverse diabetic dermopathy. 


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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