When the lockdown was lifted in June, everyone hoped it would mean a return to some semblance of normalcy.
People posted giddy selfies on social media after having their first professional haircut in months. Dermatologists reported that patients had been wanting to set appointments even before end of lockdown.
Marco Protacio, president of You+ in Bonifacio Global City, said that during enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and modified ECQ, they got a lot of inquiries for surgical and nonsurgical procedures from patients who wanted to “take advantage” of the lockdown and have procedures done while safely quarantined at home.
“They reasoned that having the procedures done then would allow them enough time to rest and recover. Since everyone is required to wear a face mask outdoors, if they have to go outside, a mask would help conceal signs that they’d had any work done,” Protacio told Lifestyle in an email interview. “Unfortunately, during the ECQ, elective surgery and aesthetic procedures were not allowed due to obvious reasons.”
Despite this, he said he was not surprised at how eager some patients were to book appointments. “We’ve always believed that looking good and feeling great is really part of one’s overall well-being. It’s not even about vanity, it’s about self-care.”
We asked three dermatologists what their experience was like after lockdown was lifted briefly.
Dr. Aivee Teo, Aivee Clinic
“I noticed a lot of patients had been wanting to go back to the clinic, since many of them had a lot of skin concerns such as acne breakouts, skin dehydration and dryness, allergies and skin pigmentation. Some patients felt that they had aged from the stress of staying at home. The top treatments requested were acne treatments, skin hydration treatments and skin tightening procedures like Ulthera and Thermage.
“Before reopening, we made sure that our clinic and our facilities were well-equipped for stringent sanitation and safety protocols. It is a must to follow the set of protocols that we implement such as COVID-19 (new coronavirus disease) rapid testing for patients, temperature check, hand and footwear sanitation.
“We also invested in Aivee Robot, which consistently sanitizes the clinic using V-Stop air mist which kills 99.99 percent of the virus and bacteria. We also have a UV BOT which works every night to sterilize the whole facility in preparation for next-day operations. Our staff also wear the proper personal protective equipment such as body suits, masks and face shields. They also undergo COVID-19 rapid testing every one to two weeks to ensure the safety of their coworkers and our patients.”
Dr. Jean Marquez, Dare Clinic
“We had patients inquiring as early as May, anticipating that the ECQ would be lifted soon. We were able to get patients to book scheduled appointments for various treatments and procedures. Acne treatments like Acne Facials and Clear Acne Laser treatment were the most requested due to common acne breakouts from stress and wearing of masks.
“Another popular treatment is the Pixel Pro laser for acne scars to restore clear and healthy skin. There is also the IV Nutrient Drip, our antiaging drip and immune-boost to achieve healthy skin and body.
“We actually expected to cater to the patients’ concerns very early on. In January, I had the gut feel that the situation would turn into a pandemic, so I attended seminars and lectures on pandemic response as early as the last week of January. We were actually one of the first clinics to enforce wearing of masks and face shields, and other preventative measures in March.
“We strive to ensure that our patients are comfortable, and our brand revolves around trust so it was natural that we put in place all these measures. We also planned earlier this year to provide online consultations and to have medical products delivered to customers. You can’t say for sure what will happen in the future, but you can always strive to do your best to prepare for what will come.”
Dr. Arnel Quiambao, medical director of You+ Clinic
“When our patients sensed that the ECQ would be lifted in June, they made advance appointments. Almost all of them inquired about our safety and health protocols in light of the pandemic.
“The top three procedures requested were acne treatments, primarily due to the acne caused by the prolonged wearing of face masks, laser toning procedures and injectables, primarily Botox.” INQThe Aivee Group, Burgos Park Building, Forbestown Road, Taguig City, tel. 5731420-25, 0917-6260474. Dare Clinic, ESNA Bldg., 30 Timog Ave., Quezon City, tel. 83748087. You+ Clinic, High Street South Corporate Plaza Tower 2, 26th St. corner 11th Ave., Taguig, tel. 0917-8724513.