On 16th June 2020, Dr Koh Hong Yi was invited by Bioacademy to give a web-based lecture on Psoriasis – Types of Biologics and the Art of Counselling. In the audience were doctors, nurses and pharmacists who are involved in treating patients with severe psoriasis.
Biologics have been available to treat psoriasis since 2002. But many patients are still unaware, or afraid of this “new” class of therapy. Most biologics are more effective, and often safer, than conventional medications. It is not uncommon now for patients on biologics to achieve clear or almost clear skin! Furthermore, psoriasis is now known to be associated with other medical disorders like coronary heart disease (heart attack), stroke, diabetes and obesity. It is even more important that we treat psoriasis and reduce the risks of having these health problems. There are now more than 7 biologics for psoriasis available in Singapore. How to choose the right one for every individual patient was the focus of the webinar.
The webinar ended with a lively question and answer session that ended beyond the scheduled 1 hour.
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:
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.
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 studyon healthcare workers found that 97% reported skin problems with PPE.
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.
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!