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A Skin Affair to Remember

“Beautiful skin requires commitment, not a miracle.” (Anonymous)

By Bicol Dermauthorities As part of the PDS Awareness Program, the Skin Health and Eczema Fair was organized in the Bicol Region last April 22. The Skin Museum, which preceded and capped the said Fair was exhibited at Robinson’s Place Naga starting April 19. This is the first in South Luzon. Skin Museum Exhibit During the said exhibit, the Naga Dermauthorities took turns in holding interactive lectures to audiences of different age groups. The first lecture was given by Dr. Marilou Sarmiento, who guided children in the basic knowledge and care of the skin.The second lecture, given by Dr. Nes Marie Sacil, focused on the care of teenage skin. The topics ranged from Acne to Eczema. The third interactive lecture was for the elderly population, delivered by Dr. Ma. Asuncion Quimlat. Clarifications on “allergy”, dry skin and Eczema were discussed as well as corrective messages on the multiple myths still being patronized by people in the provinces. The last of the series of lectures was given by Dr. Mary Jane Uy to Nursing students, and young and middle-aged adults. Topics of interest remained the same, but with emphasis on the needs of the populations present. Indeed, the lecture series was a helpful tool to achieve the goal of the Society’s Awareness Program. All in a day’s Fair The highlight of the four-day event was the Skin Health and Eczema Fair. A wholistic approach to healing was done, which started with a mass (spiritual healing) and was followed by very informative lectures (mind healing). The Fair ended with a free consultation (healing of the body). The Eucharistic celebration at 9:30 in the morning was presided by Fr. Felix Abano, Jr. with Fr. Mario Arnulfo Gaite as preacher. The PDS Bicol Dermatologists and representatives from Mother PDS were present together with almost 250 mass attendees. This was followed by the Opening Ceremony which consisted of the Ribbon Cutting and messages. Hon. John Bongat, the Pilgrim City’s energetic Mayor, together with Dr. Arnold Yu, PDS Board of Director, and Dr. Michelle Gatchalian, PDS South Luzon Chapter, graced the Ribbon Cutting ceremony. The Welcome Address was delivered by Dr. Marilou Sarmiento, PDS South Luzon – Bicol Region’s Coordinator. Mayor Bongat and Dr. Yu each gave their messages on the relevance of the Skin Health awareness and the role of Board-certified Dermatologists in the promotion of Health Care. The series of lectures followed, ably and carefully put together by Dr. Monina Aurora Dorotan, Committee Head and Program Moderator. Dr. Nes Marie Sacil presented her lecture on Acne, with her powerpoint slides in Filipino. Dr. Marisol Rebueno-Picart delivered a very simple and concise lecture on Eczema. Dr. Mary Jane Uy satisfied and prompted the senses with photos featuring the complications of commonly used bleaching creams and other skin care products rampantly used nowadays, largely due to easy availability in the market. Photoprotection, a very timely and relevant topic for the summer, was discussed by Dr. Fortuna Santiago-Marcelo. Dr. Dorotan discussed the last topic, Common Infectious Diseases. She shared her experiences in her clinic and stressed the need to seek consultation promptly to prevent spread of infection to others. The afternoon was devoted to free consultation, servicing 312 patients coming from the different provinces of Bicol. The one-day Skin Health and Eczema Fair concluded with its Closing Ceremony. Messages were given by Dr. Gatchalian and Chairman of the Organizing Committee, Dr. Quimlat. The First in South Luzon To the Bicol Dermauthorities, it was a premier and memorable experience. Despite the respective distances of Sorsogon, Albay and Camarines Norte from Naga City, the group was able to work as one. The event also became an avenue for camaraderie and fellowship. With the demands of the Cosmetic Industry today, which has greatly involved doctors and businessmen alike, events such as this prove that Dermatologists are first and foremost physicians, instruments of the Divine Healer and not businessmen. (Edited by Natalie Quimlat)

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