photo credit 123rf.com
The dermatologist, whose name now escapes me, gave me Doxycycline which I took twice a day, after meal for 7 days. She also said I have rosacea- the reason why I flush so easily. She didn't give me any topicals, just one kind of oral medication. I think I paid NT$430 (around 600 pesos). Consultations in bigger hospitals like TMUH are more expensive compared to smaller clinics, but it does not necessarily mean they do better jobs (well at least, in my case). My acne calmed down after around 2 weeks, but flared up again in early July.
I was determined to walk-in at a nearby skin clinic to have a cortisone shot for one huge acne on my left cheek. I paid around NT$150 (200+ pesos) as it is covered by insurance. The acne flattened by mid-afternoon. This time I was starting to get a little depressed. I feel bumps when I wash my face and see the scars they left behind. I grumble and tell myself I miss my skin; I miss not having to put anything on, except for sunscreen. Sometimes I have to pat on some concealer before Face Time-ing with my mom just so she would not notice I'm breaking out so bad (she always thinks I'm under a lot of stress when I break out and would tell me to slow down).
So one morning while waiting for a call conference at work, and feeling really desperate my skin would not heal (I need to clear up by September for my cousin's wedding!), I started searching for well-recommended dermatologists in Taipei by the locals. I did the search in Chinese and came up with several names from an online forum.
There was this one particular name that appears in almost every recommendation list: 石博宇醫師 Dr. Shih Po-Yu. They commended how Dr. Shih took time to listen to their woes and prescribed medicines that cleared them up. After reading around 20 or so reviews from online users, I searched for Dr. Shih and saw his clinic schedules in Wanfang Hospital 萬芳醫院 (near my school before) and Po Shun United Clinic 保順聯合診所 in faraway Sanchong, New Taipei City. I also read his credentials online and was pleased to find that he is a member of the American Board of Dermatology! Yaaay! I was sure he speaks good English (not that the other doctors I've been to can't speak English, but I have high hopes knowing he's ABD-certified!)
His Wanfang schedule is on Wednesday mornings and I cant take a day off just to see him. I opted to make a trip all the way to Sanchong (Sanchong is on the outskirts of Taipei) after work one rainy Wednesday evening, hoping against hope (and praying with all my might) that it's worth the trek. I promised myself I'll write a review and recommend him to friends if things go well (hence this blog post!)
Dr. Shih was indeed very warm and accommodating. I told him I'd be speaking in English because I'm more comfortable with the language. Daaaaang... he spoke perfect English. I'm guessing he is an American-born Chinese! He looked at my skin with a small magnifying glass and said my skin's really inflamed. He then took a skin diagram and started explaining the parts of the skin and how comedones form. I did not experience this from any of the dermatologists I've been to here in Taipei (I've been to 4 or 5!!!). He also mentioned something about being cautious of my food intake- avoid too much fried and oily food, rich in carbohydrates, and those hot food- not only hot as in spicy, but temperature-wise. He said there's also a proper way of washing the face. He showed me a link on their website and told me to watch it when I get home. Here's the video if you're interested.
He began the treatment with oral antibiotics to 'kill' the bacteria and an anti-inflammatory med. He gave me topical ointments and a solution to apply before bedtime. I went home with this bag of medicines good for 3 days (oral meds 3x a day) and paid only NT$100- I think I paid an additional NT$150 for one of the topical meds not covered by the insurance.
On my second visit, the inflammation subsided and there were no new acne forming. We continued with the medication and Dr. Shih asked me to see him again after 3 days. On the third day, he said I'm responding very well to the medication... quite beyond his expectation! I would have wanted to say thank you and I kinda wish I have found him sooner... but I was shy. He lessened the dosage of the oral meds to twice a day for 3 days and replaced the solution with 2 ointments that will help push out comedones and lessen the scarring. On the fourth visit, he decided to slowly wean me off of the oral meds. I'm now taking it just once a day and hopefully no more flare ups until my cousin's wedding!
I'm really so thankful I found Dr. Shih! I super recommend him especially for expats suffering from skin problems. Very cool and easy to talk to! I will post a before and after photo of myself when the scars lighten a bit :) For now, I'm just super dooper happy that I can feel the smoothness of my skin again when washing! Ahhh really worth the trek to Sanchong!
Doctor's Name: 石博宇醫師 Dr. Shih Po-Yu
Clinic: Po Shun United Clinic 保順聯合診所
Address: No. 5 Zheng Yi North Road, Sanchong District, New Taipei City 新北市三重區正義北路五號
Contact Num: 02-29710719, 02-29855630
FB page: https://www.facebook.com/poshunclinic.tw/