We Tried Teledermatology, And There’s Hope For Those With Skin Issues During The Circuit Breaker

Eczema, pigmentation or sensitive skin getting you down during the CB? An online dermatological consultation can help. Here’s how it works.

You have a niggling skin problem that’s making an already tough Circuit Breaker period even more trying. You don’t want to head to your GP. But that stress eczema is unlikely to go away by itself. You need intervention. Teledermatology to the rescue. According to dermatologist Dr Teo Wan Lin of TWL Specialist Skin & Laser Centre, dermatology is a medical specialty that is very well-suited for online consultations, as a teledermatology consultation will be the same as an in-person consultation, except for very serious conditions, such as infections and cases which require biopsies, in which case an in-person consultation is necessary. Dr Teo’s clinic at Novena is still open during the Circuit Breaker period for urgent procedures.

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Dr Teo Wan Lin, dermatologist at Dr TWL Specialist Skin & Laser Centre, is ready to get online with you during the Circuit Breaker period for a telederm consultation, whether your skin issue is eczema or hyper-pigmentation. 

But for skin ailments such as eczema, rashes, acne and allergies, as well as aesthetic skin concerns, Dr Teo can help you from the comfort of your own house, from her own house, throughout this Circuit Breaker and beyond.

First, make an appointment at https://www.twlskin.com/specialist-skin-booking. When your appointment is confirmed, you will get an e-mail asking you to send photos of your NRIC or passport, and to register via the clinic’s secure platform, which also hosts the online video consultation. You’ll then be sent a clinic assessment form to fill in, where you can describe your symptoms, medical history and drug allergies. They then ask for clear photos of the affected area under white light (close-ups and the entire region, eg. the rash on your arm, and then a pic of where it’s located on your arm). You’ll then receive instructions for a tele-consult with Dr Teo on their video platform.

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A teledermatology consultation with Dr Teo, where she can make a diagnosis and prescribe treatment based on visual and verbal information from the patient. 

I asked Dr Teo about a rash on my finger that won’t go away. The area has had its fair share of eczema over the years, and the constant hand-washing during the Covid-19 pandemic doesn’t help. Pictures were sent, and during the tele-consultation, a visual diagnosis was made, the doctor asked questions about how long it’s been there, and explained that she will prescribe a cream for the problem.

A while after the consultation, I got an e-mail with the prescription, along with details on how to make payment. A clinic staff then gives me another video call with more details about the prescription, and how to use the medicine. Two days later, the medicine was couriered to me (they are currently offering free courier service). The entire process was fuss-free and easy, and my rash is, of course, much better. No need to head to a doc to get my steroid cream, and I get a specialist’s advice. The tele-consult is $150 for 15 mins for a first consultation, and costs the same as an in-person consult at Dr Teo’s clinic.

Dr Teo also does in-person aesthetic treatments such as lasers, chemical peels, HIFU and Botox and fillers, but these have been suspended during this period. Besides medical dermatological problems, she will also treat and prescribe solutions for other skin conditions such as acne and aesthetic skin woes (pigmentation, sensitive skin and fine lines, for example) via teledermatology.

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Skincare products from Dr.TWL Dermaceuticals, a specialist cosmeceutical skincare line developed by Dr Teo, who's also written a book about cosmeceutical skincare.

She tells us that 60 per cent of her customers see her for aesthetic concerns, but says, “No aesthetic procedure is so urgent that we have to do it in the middle of a pandemic. It can wait.” During this period, her customers are advised to use home-based aesthetic treatments and prescriptive cosmeceuticals from her skincare line, Dr TWL Dermaceuticals, as well as devices from her Dr TWL Pharmacy, such as a handheld home microdermabrasion device called the Dr TWL Silkpeel Home Medi-facial kit, as there won't be access to the usual fillers and in-clinic anti-ageing treatments during the CB.

For more info about teledermatology and TWL Specialist Skin & Laser Centre, go to https://www.twlskin.com/.

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