Welcome to Tham Siew Nee Skin Clinic. Teleconsultation now available!

Opening Hours : Mon to Fri - 8.30am to 5pm, Sat - 8.30am - 1pm
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Archive for March 2020

Tele-Consultation with Tham Siew Nee Skin Clinic using MaNaDr

The Covid-19 situation is evolving rapidly. Within the span of 1 week, various countries have declared “lock-downs” to stem the spread of the coronavirus, which the WHO has just declared as a pandemic.

Many of our patients are hesitant to come to the hospital. Our patients who are based overseas (eg. Indonesia, Malaysia) are facing difficulties coming for their medical appointments due to these lock-downs.

Photo by William Bayreuther on Unsplash

Our clinic is pleased to partner with MaNaDr, an online Telemedicine platform, to provide teleconsultation for our patients who are unable to come to the clinic physically. You can download the MaNaDr app from their website, register, and use the Magnifying glass icon to search for Tham Siew Nee Skin Clinic, or for Dr Tham Siew Nee or Dr Koh Hong Yi to initiate a teleconsultation session.

There are pros and cons with a teleconsultation service. The convenience of seeing a doctor from your own room has to be balanced against the downsides of not having a more detailed physical examination and lack of personal touch (both literally and physically). For new patients, we would still prefer to have you at our clinic for first consultation so that we can make a more accurate diagnosis.

We hope the pandemic will be over soon. Meanwhile, please stay safe and wash your hands.

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Hand Care with Hand Sanitizers – Feature Article

Dr Koh Hong Yi was interviewed by LianHe Zaobao (the mainstream Chinese newspaper in Singapore) on 9th March 2020, for his views on skin care in the midst of Covid-19 pandemic. He has seen more patients presenting with hand eczema (dermatitis) due to increased frequency of hand washing or use of hand sanitizers. This is more common in patients who already have sensitive skin.

Dr Koh provided some hand care tips:

  • Wash your hands as frequently as needed, but do not go overboard or rub aggressively.
  • Choose a mild non-alkaline hand cleanser with moisturisers. Do not use dish-soap or hot water.
  • Dry your skin completely after washing, especially between the fingers.
  • Apply moisturisers to the hands frequently throughout the day.
  • When using hand sanitizers, select those with added moisturisers. If one has sensitive skin, avoid sanitizers with added fragrance which may cause allergy.

Dr Koh shared that our normal skin is actually slightly acidic, so a non-alkaline soap or cleanser is better for our skin. Most hand sanitizers contain alcohol, but one should not use alcohol to wash hands, or wash our hands with water immediately after applying alcohol-based hand sanitizer as this will irritate the skin.

He also advised patients with hand dermatitis to see their GP or Dermatologist, as the inflamed skin actually harbours more bacteria, and micro-breaks in the skin will allow germs to enter.

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Taking Immunosuppressants and Facing Covid-19

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

In our clinic, we have many patients who are taking medications for inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis. Most of these medications are immunosuppressants – medications that can weaken the immune system. Recently, one of our long-term patients on a biologic (latest targeted therapy for psoriasis) emailed us, as he is worried about catching Covid-19 when his immunity is lower than other people.

Our advice to him, and patients facing the same dilemma, is this:

  • Practice good hand hygiene. Evidence suggests Covid-19 is spread by droplets. These droplets are land on surfaces that people touch, or when they cough or sneeze. Hence one should wash his or her hands frequently with soap and water. Follow the 8-steps of handwashing on the MOH website, or look for relevant videos on YouTube.
  • Avoid touching your face. Covid-19 can enter our body only via certain receptors on our cells. Their main portals of entry are our mucosal surfaces (eyes, nose, mouth). So no eating with bare hands, rubbing of eyes and picking of nose!
  • Get the influenza vaccine. This doesn’t prevent Covid-19, but is generally good advice for people with lower immunity. By reducing your risk of catching the common flu, it will reduce the chance of you having to see a doctor for flu symptoms and being suspected of having Covid-19.
  • Avoid crowded areas, especially enclosed, air-conditioned spaces eg. cinemas.
  • Consult your dermatologist before deciding whether to stop your medication. Most patients on immunosuppressants including biologics have severe skin conditions to begin with, and sudden cessation of medication can trigger a flare that may even require hospitalization.
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