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HEADLINE: Dermatology
UERMMMCI Section of Dermatology’s 15th Postgraduate Course

In a world filled with fake news, physicians must aim to dispel myths and present evidence-based treatment options for patients. Last July 11, 2019, the UERMMMCI Section of Dermatology held its 15th postgraduate course entitled “HEADLINE: Dermatology” at Marco Polo Hotel Ortigas. This meeting of the minds enlightened participants regarding special topics that are not only trendy and controversial “headlines,” but also essential to the practice of dermatology.

The program started with a warm welcome from the head of the Section, Dr. Camille Angeles, followed by a very interesting and thorough lecture of Dr. Evelyn Gonzaga on cutaneous, systemic and emotional changes that a woman undergoes during climacterium. Dr. Nancy Garcia-Tan shared her knowledge and clinical experience on different techniques for skin resurfacing, facial rejuvenation, and current modalities used for vaginal rejuvenation.

The next segment of the course focused on the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) community & HIV.   To our knowledge, this is the first postgraduate course in dermatology to have focused on the health of transgender individuals. Ms. International Queen 2012 and an advocate for the LGBTQ  community, Ms. Kevin Balot, shared with the delegates her life story and journey in transitioning from being a man to a woman. Dr. Gilbert Yang further talked about sexual orientation, gender identity and expression (SOGIE) equality and nationwide acceptance for the LGBTQ community.

The PDS, together with the STI subspecialty group, has armed us with the knowledge and skills in dealing with people living with HIV (PLHIV), but how about their close contacts?  Dr. Gilbert Yang and Dr. Emmerson Vista, joined by Dr. Jan Dio dela Cruz, a volunteer from Love Yourself, an organization which provides care and support for PLHIV, enlightened us on how to deal with the close contacts of PLHIV. This special set of patients deserve our utmost understanding and respect as they deal with the difficulties of living with HIV positive patients.

Cosmeceuticals are meant to make people achieve and maintain a youthful appearance, but not all products are created equal. Dr. Lonabel Encarnacion taught the delegates how to “Be a Label Reader.” She talked about the importance of decoding the ingredients in cosmeceuticals for dermatologists to be able to advise patients on which allergens to avoid or watch out for when buying over-the-counter (OTC) topical products, especially if they are allergic to certain chemicals or additives. Let us be weary of products that are “organic” or made of “all-natural ingredients,” because a lot of allergens are “organic” – like poison ivy.  Afterwards, Dr. Ruth Medel warned the audience about OTC topical products which cause adverse reactions like acneiform eruptions, tinea incognito, and contact dermatitis.

The last set of lectures was about the hyped intravenous drips and supplements, and diet trends. Dr. Ma. Pilar Leuenberger discussed the lack of evidence for safety and efficacy of popular glutathione, collagen, and placenta drips. Dr. Juan Maria Ibarra Co and Dr. Marianna Sioson shared the stage in a panel discussion on current weight loss fads. The panel enlightened everyone about certain diets like ketogenic diet, intermittent fasting, and discussed their modes of action and effects on our metabolism and the body in general. Overall, a balanced diet is still the best diet.

The postgraduate course concluded with the most-awaited cosmetic hands-on workshop attended by PDS residents and consultants.  Dr. Lonabel Encarnacion shared her pearls on the use of a monopolar radiofrequency device for skin tightening, Dr. Camille Angeles explained the science behind the carbon peel using Nd:YAG laser. Dr. Irene Gaile Vitas demonstrated the use of sodium deoxycholate for submental fat reduction, and Dr. Christina Javier discussed facial anatomy the use of botulinum toxin injection for dynamic facial rhytides.

Indeed, the postgraduate course covered a wide array of topics, arming the delegates with the knowledge and basic skills in various subspecialties of dermatology.

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