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Procedural dermatology in the COVID-19 era: an online survey of the Philippine Dermatological Society members and practical recommendations for safe practice

Dim-Jamora, Krisinda Clare C.; Jamora, Maria Jasmin J.; Yu, Jonathan Nevin T.; and Dayrit, Johannes F.



The novel COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 19) predisposes the general population to a high risk of infection. The 106 million population of the Philippines would be considered an at-risk group due to the high density of the populace in cities. As the situation in each country differs during this era of the COVID-19 pandemic, this paper aims to give practical recommendations for safe procedural dermatology practice in the Philippine setting after the lifting of the government-mandated quarantine.



An online survey was conducted among Philippine Dermatological Society (PDS) members. The survey was sent electronically on March 22, 2020.


A total of 466 or 42% of the PDS’s 1100 current members replied to the survey. The top 10 procedures performed among the respondents are: 1. Electrocautery (N=437, 94.38%), 2. Chemical peeling (N=422, 91.13%), 3. Laser & energy based device treatment (N= 341, 73.65%), 4. Botulinum toxin injection (N=323, 69.76%), 5. Excision (N=263, 56.80%), 6. Acne surgery (N=176, 38.01%), 7. Injectable Filler (N=171, 36.93%), 8. Cryotherapy (N=145, 31.32%), 9. Platelet rich plasma injection (N=111, 23.97%) and 10. Scar revision (N=85, 18.36%).

The majority of the respondents have access to personal protective equipment (PPE) such as surgical masks (N=457, 98.7%), face shields (57.67%), goggles
(46.00%), protective gown (42.76%) and bonnets (32.83%). Before the government quarantine, the majority (N=375, 81.17%) of respondents see patients on a
first-come, first-serve system. Only 18.83% (N=87) see patients only by appointment.

Regarding teledermatology, most respondents answered that they would advise patients to do digital consultation with only a minority responding they would not consider doing teledermatology.


Practical recommendations for surgical, procedural dermatology, laser surgery, and aesthetic procedural dermatology practice in the Philippines
include the following:

  1. Education of staff and patients on proper exposure prevention and sanitation measures.
  2. Ensuring the correct usage of PPE.
  3. Ensuring physical distancing and reducing patient wait times by scheduling visits on an appointment basis.
  4. Sufficient protocols must be made for sanitation before and after each patient visit.
  5. Teledermatology in pre-procedure consults and post-procedure follow-ups would reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission for both patient and physician.



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Procedural dermatology in the COVID-19 era: an online survey of the Philippine Dermatological Society members and practical recommendations for safe practice