(The Freeman) - January 14, 2019 - 12:00am

Dear Dr. Jen,

I have rashes on my back and neck. I’ve had it for about two months now. How do I distinguish between allergies and an infection? I’ve been to two dermatologists already.  One treated it as an allergy and the other as fungal infection.


Dear Karla,

Rashes caused by a fungal infection or an allergy can display similar symptoms.  Both can be red, itchy and may spread rapidly. A simple skin scraping to check under the microscope for fungal elements can objectively distinguish between the two.  In a lot of cases, the rashes for a fungal infection can also be distinctive in its appearance. You can have it seen by a PDS dermatologist, who can easily tell the difference, or do the proper lab exam to help identify the condition.

Applying anti-fungal creams to allergies may aggravate the condition, and same with steroid creams for fungal infections.

Dear Dr. Jen,

I have warts on my legs.  The anti-wart solutions have not been working and the warts are starting to spread. Will having them lasered off cause any scars?


Dear Connie,

Warts caused by HPV on the legs commonly present as flat, rounded warts.  They can be removed via freezing, laser or cautery. With either method, it generally will not cause any scarring. Make sure it is a real PDS dermatologist who is doing the procedure.  I have seen multiple cases wherein a simple case of wart removal (performed by a spa aesthetician) was cauterized too deeply, inevitably causing marks.

Dr. Tan is a diplomate of Philippine Dermatological Society (PDS) and is affiliated with the Perpetual Succour Hospital (PSH). Information on PDS is at www.pds.org.ph. Questions or concerns regarding the skin may be sent by text to 0932 857 7070 or emailed to askskinrepublic@gmail.com; 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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