Patient Buzz: Reddit for Skin Care Questions?

Cosmopolitan recently posted an article on how Reddit’s SkincareAddiction community is creating a generation of at-home dermatologists. But is a community of 1 million users answering dermatology questions good for the specialty?

For an expert opinion, I consulted Jared Jagdeo, MD, MS, associate professor of dermatology and founding director of the Center for Laser, Aesthetics and Body Institute at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, N.Y.

How reliable is the guidance on the SkincareAddiction Reddit?

I would like to commend the members and participants of SkincareAddiction Reddit for sharing their personal experiences and skin care discoveries with other members who have a shared interest in skin health and wellness. Some of the guidance on SkincareAddiction Reddit is fantastic. For ongoing skin care concerns, I would like to recommend that Redditers consider seeking professional medical care from a board-certified dermatologist.

What concerns do you have about patients seeking skin care advice through this online community?

I think it is wonderful that patients have online communities where they can share and exchange skin care experiences and tips. Patients sometimes have important experiences and tips that can help others with similar conditions. I do want to share that it is important to balance this community feedback with professional medical guidance from a board-certified dermatologist.

What does the popularity of this Reddit tell dermatologists about their patients?

The popularity of online communities focused on skin care informs dermatologists that patients are very passionate and invested in achieving their best skin possible. This is a call to action that board-certified dermatologists need to be more visible in online communities to help answer patient questions and share that we can help with skin care issues in our clinical offices.

Are there ways dermatologists should change their patient interactions based on the popularity of this Reddit?

It would be wonderful for dermatologists to engage more in online communities to increase visibility of our specialty and provide professional guidance when possible.

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