Freeman Cebu Lifestyle

Skin Republic

Jennifer Toledo-Tan M.D. - The Freeman

Dear Dr. Jen,

My daughter has white spots on her tummy, as well as on her neck.  She did her own research and seems to think she has a disease that Michael Jackson has, vitiligo.  What are the chances of this going away by itself?  Can she be cured of it?


Dear Lorraine,

White spots on the skin, could possibly be vitiligo.  But it can also be pityriasis alba, allergies or fungal infection. Vitiligo is particularly obvious in its whiteness, because it is devoid of any pigment. It is not just cream colored but may look as white as bond paper.  This condition is long term and may need more attention and treatment than the former condition described.  It is not contagious nor does it affect any other organ in the body.

Pityriasis alba often occurs in people with eczema.  This minimally requires constant moisturizing and use of mild soap products. Fungal infections are easily treated with anti- fungal creams or oral medication.

To get a definitive diagnosis, a biopsy may be required.  However, some vitiligo lesions are so typical that biopsies may not be warranted.  Your PDS doctor may want to rule out fungal infections by doing some laboratory work up.

* * *


Dear Dr. Jen,

I have plenty of warts on my neck and armpits. Is this contagious?  My mom and my sister have them too.  How long does healing take after removal of the warts?


Dear Jingle,

Skin-colored or brownish bumps on the neck, underarms, and even on the face, may not be the usual viral warts – but may be skin tags. Dermatosis papulosa nigra or skin tags look a lot like warts.  However, they can flourish in parts of the body where friction abounds.  Friction from collars, necklaces or rubbing of the skin or tight clothing in the underarm area is one of the factors that can lead to skin tag formation. Sun exposure and genetic predisposition are other factors too, which may be the reason why other family members exhibit similar tags.

 When the skin tags are huge, it is best to just have them snipped off.  The tiny ones can be removed via laser or cautery.  Healing can take from five to ten days. (FREEMAN)

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