Freeman Cebu Lifestyle

Skin Republic

Dr. Jennifer Toledo Tan - The Freeman

Dear Dr. Jen,

My skin asthma has gotten worse over the summer.  I think there’s an infection going on.  I tried to control it by using sulfur soap but it’s become flaky and white.  What other products can I use? 



Dear Dennis,

Atopic dermatitis or skin asthma expectedly worsens over hot weather.  Red or white patches on the face, neck, arms or legs can flare up when you get hot and sweaty. Unfortunately, sulfur soap can worsen skin asthma.  It will make your skin drier, which leads to exacerbation of your skin asthma.

If you are worried about infection, go see your nearest PDS dermatologist.  Is there pain, pus or warmth over the area? A simple infection can be treated with the right medication and can escalate to a serious condition if improperly medicated. 

Eczematous skin perpetually needs moisture and emollients due to the epidermal water loss inherent in skin asthma.  Sulfur soap works against this.  Try to shift to a mild soap that won’t dry out skin and a hypoallergenic lotion to maintain on.  Baby products are safer to use.


Dear Dr. Jen,

My hair is very brittle.  I noticed that I often get split ends.  What shampoo can you recommend?



Dear Suzie,

Split ends or trichoptilosis is caused by hair that has undergone a lot of stress.  Physical stress includes frequent use of tools that heat hair for curling or straightening.  Chemical stress includes hair that has undergone perming or coloring.  Frequent washing and vigorous brushing of wet hair can also give you split ends.  All these will strip away the hair cuticle and make the cortex unprotected leading to split ends and hair breakage.

Unfortunately, there is no miracle shampoo that can cure trichoptilosis.  There are some shampoos that can give you the “appearance” of split ends-free hair.  Conditioner will certainly help in making it less dry. You can get rid of it by doing two things.  First is to cut the hair above the level where the split ends mostly are.  Make sure the hair dresser will use sharp scissors as blunt ones can also give you split ends. Second, you need to prevent doing the things that will give you split ends.  Wishing you split-ends free hair this summer!

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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