SKIN REPUBLIC - Dr. Jennifer Toledo Tan (The Freeman) - June 4, 2018 - 12:00am

Dear Dr. Jen,

What is the best treatment for sunburn?  We are going to Siargao next week and I always burn at the beach even if I use sunblock.  This time I want to be ready with the treatment since I burn anyway.  Please give me some tips on what to apply for the sunburns.


Dear Mia,

Sunburn treatment is simple.  Arm yourself with some steroid lotion, mild moisturizers and oral anti-inflammatory like paracetamol, ibuprofen or aspirin.  Stay in a cool room and if you can find some aloe vera plants, those would also be a good first aid tool.  Aloe vera can bring down the burn and cool the skin.  You can refrigerate the aloe vera leaves for a bit.  Slice it open to expose the inside part of the leaf and apply the gooey (stinky) gel on your burned skin.

Avoiding sunburns is actually easy.  Think of bringing props such as those fashionable wide-brimmed hats, huge sunglasses, and beach wraps if you don’t like using rash guards.  Applying sunscreen (the waterproof kind) every two hours can also inhibit burns from forming.  Lastly, staying in shaded areas during the hottest part of the day, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., can also go a long, long way.

* * *

Dear Dr. Jen,

I had several microneedling sessions, with two weeks interval for a couple of months for my melasma.  But I noticed I developed pimples and rough skin after.  I am never going back to that doctor again! My melasma is still present, and to top it off, I now have pimples.  Please help me!


Dear Candice,

Microneedling when performed properly and with the right tools can be good for acne scars, but not usually melasma.  Though non-invasive lasers have replaced microneedling in the recent years, it can still be used for scar treatment.   For melasma treatment, I usually advocate Q-switched Nd:yag lasers, chemical peels or bleaching agents.

Acne can incidentally form if the toners or creams or medications used during and after microneedling are comedogenic.  This can be reversed by using anti-acne medications (like tretinoin or adapalene).  But if pimples are formed due to other factors like stress, wrong cosmetic use, lack of sleep or hormonal imbalance, then these other causes need to be addressed.  I suggest you see your PDS dermatologist for proper medication.

Dr. Tan is a diplomate of Philippine Dermatological Society (PDS) and is affiliated with the Perpetual Succour Hospital (PSH). Information on PDS is at Questions or concerns regarding the skin may be sent by text to 0932 857 7070 or emailed to; or coursed thru The Freeman – (032) 2531276, or thru PSH – (032) 2338620 and 2325929. Inquiries will be forwarded to Dr. Tan.

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