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Opening Hours : Mon to Fri - 8.30am to 5pm, Sat - 8.30am - 1pm
  Contact : 64766821 or Whatsapp 88311384

All Posts in Category: Covid 19

Singapore Gradually Exits Circuit Breaker

Singapore will exit the Circuit Breaker in phases starting from 2nd June 2020. The Ministry of Health has provided our clinic with guidance on what Dermatology specialist conditions we can see and treatments we may provide from 2nd June onwards:

  1. Skin cancer surveillance
  2. Moderate to severe acne
  3. Severe or worsening pigmentation disorders
  4. Inflammatory skin conditions eg. eczema, psoriasis
  5. Immunobullous conditions (autoimmune blistering problems)
  6. Viral warts

This list is not exhaustive. If you have a skin problem, do call (Tel: 64766821) or WhatsApp (HP: 88311384) us so that we may help you. Our teleconsultation services are still available for those who do not wish to travel to our clinic.

Aesthetic procedures such as fillers, toxin injections and aesthetic energy-based or laser treatments are still not allowed. We seek your patience and understanding as we fight Covid-19 together.

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Skin Problems & Skin Care Tips with Prolonged Mask Wearing

In an earlier article, we wrote about the types of skin rashes that Covid-19 cause.

The effects of prolonged wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE) on the skin are equally relevant. We read about healthcare workers in Wuhan, China, and Europe wearing PPE continuously for a whole shift, because every change of PPE carries a risk of exposure to the virus and uses up precious protective equipment. When the skin is exposed to high temperatures and humidity for a long time, the upper most layer of the skin called stratum corneum becomes weakened. This can lead to breaks in the skin, resulting in pain and even ulcers. Imagine having to work in a stressful environment in continuous pain! A study on healthcare workers found that 97% reported skin problems with PPE.

Redness associated with itch and burning sensation in a person who washed her face with alcohol and wore a mask 6 hours every day. Source: Elsevier’s novel coronavirus resource centre.

The same type of skin problems can occur in the non-healthcare setting, as more people started wearing masks continuously whether at work or outside. In an interview with Singapore’s mainstream Chinese newspaper, 联合早报, on 12th May 2020, our consultant Dr Koh Hong Yi lists the types of skin problems one may encounter with face masks:

  • Acne mechanica – worsening of acne due to prolonged occlusion of hair follicles.
  • Maceration and erosions – from humidity, pressure and rubbing from mask straps or wire strip at the nose bridge.
  • Contact dermatitis (eczema) – either from irritation or allergic reaction to mask fabric.
  • Dermographic urticaria – hives or wheals in people who are prone to hives from rubbing against the mask.

Dr Koh recommends the following skin care tips:

  • Avoid wearing a mask for prolonged periods if possible. If you need to, stay in a cool environment to reduce sweating.
  • Apply a light moisturiser to the face, so that it doesn’t clog your pores but also will not affect the seal of your mask.
  • Where the mask rubs against the skin (eg. on the nose bridge where the wire strip is, or on the cheeks against the straps), you can put a thin layer of protective dressing such as DuoDERM(r) Extra Thin on the nose or cheek.
  • Treat any underlying skin problems such as acne, eczema or urticaria (hives) so they don’t flare up with mask wearing.

For more details, read the full article in 联合早报 here.

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Clinic Opening Hours During Circuit Breaker

Photo by Thomas Jensen on Unsplash

From 7th April 2020, Singapore entered Circuit Breaker period to prevent escalating numbers of Covid-19. As an essential service provider, Tham Siew Nee Skin Clinic remains open at the same operating hours. However, we have put in place additional safety measures in line with government regulations:

  • We will only provide essential medical services for urgent or acute medical problems. All aesthetic consultations will be deferred. Our receptionist may ask you the reason for your consultation when you call to make an appointment.
  • Telemedicine and refill of prescription services are available if the doctors feel it is appropriate in your case. Check out our earlier post on teleconsultation (17 March 2020) or call our clinic to enquire.
  • Our staff are taking turns to work from home. We apologise if our service is slower during this time.

We wish you good health, and stay safe during this critical period. Take care!

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What Covid-19 Looks like on the Skin

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

We all know Covid-19 is a severe, respiratory virus that mainly affects the airways and lungs. The main symptoms are fever, cough, fatigue, breathing difficulty and sore throat. Interestingly, loss of smell (anosmia in medical terms) is also a feature of this virus. In fact, some people have no other symptoms except for loss of smell.

We know what the virus looks like under the microscope. In breaking research published by Italian researchers in Lombardy last week, we also know what Covid-19 looks like when it presents on the skin.

The researchers looked at 88 Covid-19 patients in their hospital, and found that 18 patients (20.4%) had a skin rash, including 8 patients who developed a rash at the onset of disease. The body (trunk) was the main area involved, and the rash can be slightly itchy or not at all.

Every day, we learn something new about this global menace. The day will come when we find the treatment or vaccine to rid us of this virus. Till then, all of us at Tham Siew Nee Skin Clinic hope you will stay safe and take care of your health!

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