The Philippine Association of Primary Skin Health Physicians, Inc. (PAPSHPI), an affiliate of the Philippine Medical Association, urges the public to take skin health more seriously and choose medical grade skin care products.
Skin health is often neglected and taken lightly. It is easy to dismiss skin care as an unnecessary indulgence for mere cosmetic reasons or vanity. PAPSHPI, which recently held their 12th Annual Convention at Novotel Manila Araneta Center, warns patients against these common pitfalls.
Through PAPSHPI President Dr. Elise Christine Tompong, Chairman Dr. Grace M. Lopez, and past presidents Dr. Maica Galvez-Vergara and Dr. JP Ayache Garcia, the association stresses the importance of skin health.
“Skin is the largest organ of our body and most people do not know that. If we can take time out to give attention and care to our heart, lungs, stomach, and other vital organs, why can’t we do the same for our skin,” says PAPSHPI.
Skin care should be regarded as preventive care, and treatment of skin diseases must start early to prevent further damage just like with any other organ. Physicians warn that “symptoms may go unnoticed or may not be given attention to for months, even years.”
Skin cancer, for example, is not as popular as breast cancer. But, according to PAPSHPI, it is a disease that may afflict Filipinos, too.
“The realization that early treatment should have been done sets in when the problem has become severe and chronic,” says PAPSHPI.
Mass market vs medical grade
The market does not lack skin care products, which are categorized into mass market and medical grade. However, PAPSHPI advises against falling victim to mass market skin care products because these provide temporary results and come with a higher risk of undesirable side effects.
The medical group urges Filipinos to be selective in using skin care products by choosing products that have been medically tested for safety and efficacy.
PAPSHPI President Dr. Elise Christine Tompong explains that medical grade and prescription-strength skin care products are formulated to provide lasting or permanent results, and skin heath doctors can prescribe these products for specific skin concerns.
Every skin is different and therefore one product cannot suit all skin types. PAPSHPI reminds the public that it is best to ask experts such as medical doctors and professionals which products are good for your skin.
JW Healthcare Philippines (JWHP), the local sales subsidiary of JW Group, a leading pharmaceutical company in Korea, is one of the companies that supported the 12th Annual Convention of PAPSHPI. JWHP recently launched Dermairis Korean skin care mask infused with natural ingredients and manufactured using patented CTP technologies.
PAPSHPI spreads awareness and brings proper skin care closer to the public through weekly and annual medical missions.
At the community level, the association holds weekly charity outpatient services at two locations in Quezon City: Birhen Maria along Mindanao Avenue and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Shrine Social Services Department along Doña Juana Rodriguez Avenue (formerly Broadway).
Skin health services range from consultations to procedural such as electrocautery, injections, and laser. PAPSHPI also treats acne, allergies, psoriasis, fungal and viral infections, and dermal tumors, including warts, milia, and syringoma.
“At least 50 adult and pediatric patients are seen weekly in both areas by six to 10 skin health physicians,” says PAPSHPI. “Consultation, treatment, and medicines are all free.”
PAPSHPI’s annual medical missions outside Metro Manila are usually in coordination with the local government such as the Mayor’s office and the municipal health office.
According to PAPSHPI, patients in the provinces range from agricultural and government workers to private employees and housewives. About 300 to 350 adult and pediatric patients are seen and treated by 30 to 40 skin health physicians per mission. Consultation and medicines are free.
In addition to patient services, PAPSHPI assists physicians in giving proper skin care to the public. This is part of the association’s mission “to enable and provide medical practitioners, most especially primary skin health physicians, essential updates on diagnosis and treatments.”
PAPSHPI also helps “tackle professional issues focusing on PhilHealth, gender sensitivity, personality development, awareness, and upliftment of social responsibilities of all medical professionals who can render services in the community.”
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