Freeman Cebu Lifestyle


Jennifer Toledo-Tan M.D. - The Freeman

Dear Dr. Jen,

My friends have been raving about this soap that has made their skin flawless.  I started using it for a few days and then I began breaking out.  I stopped using the soap but I still continued to break out.  I’ve never had a problem with pimples before!  I have huge pimples and tiny ones.  I have blackheads and white heads all over my face. Please help me. Why did I break out when it worked so well on my friends?  Can this still be reversed?


Dear Joyce,

Unfortunately, not all skin is created equal.  Some lucky people can get away with using almost anything and nothing happens to their skin.  Some people get delayed reactions and get the side effects months or years after using a product.  Others like yourself are on the sensitive side.  That being said, harsh products, the ones that bleach, scrub or dry your skin can cause untoward reactions like breakouts and peeling.   I suggest you go for products that are hypoallergenic and noncomedogenic.  Sometimes sales people will claim that the product is such but make sure to check the labels. You will likely need to have anti-acne medication for 6-8 weeks to reverse the effects of the soap.  After which, you can address dark or deep scars that may have been brought about.


Dear Dr. Jen,

I have scales on my eyebrows and cheeks.  I try to peel it off and apply lots of moisturizer, yet more keep coming up in the morning.  We recently just moved houses and I’m wondering if dust or pollution has something to do with this. What can I apply to make it go away?  Is it safe to use make up?



Dear Betty,

Seborrheic dermatitis commonly presents as red or scaly skin, on the scalp, eyebrow area and the sides of the nose.  Often times, the patient isn’t really bothered by it because it goes away fast.  However, extreme temperatures or stress can bring about a flare-up that can escalate into uncontrollable scaling.

Peeling away the scales can lead to exposing immature or inflamed skin underneath.  Just wait for the scales to fall off by themselves.  Applying a mild anti-inflammatory as well as an anti-fungal cream can dramatically bring down the flare up in a day or two.  Using a mild moisturizer every night can lessen the symptoms too. 

Watch for the usual triggers for seborrheic dermatitis like stress or cold weather. Be diligent with an anti-inflammatory moisturizer (my favorite is physiogel AI cream) to avoid flare ups.  Also, try to check the toners and other cosmetics you use for any irritating ingredients such as salicylic acid. This may also worsen your condition.


Dr Tan is a fellow of Philippine Dermatological Society (PDS). She is affiliated with Perpetual Succour Hospital (PSH).  For other information on PDS, check http://www.pds.org.ph/. If you have any questions or concerns please text, email or call (the Freeman or PSH): 0923 905 2073or <[email protected]> or (032) 233 8620 or 232 5929. Your inquiries will be forwarded to Dr. Tan. (FREEMAN)

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