Internet has revolutionised our lives, at the click of a mouse in the comforts of our office or home, we can get all the information from around the world. Gone are the days of visiting the library to seek information and knowledge. The range of information could be household/how to fix things/books/history/health. You have a question, the internet has the answer.
Similarly there is lot of information available on health and health care and of course for skin care and skin problems. According to a survey carried out in 2010 the most googled in health sector is acne, followed by herpes. Acne is searched much more than diabetes too. From this we can fathom the effect of skin problems on an individual and need for information. The easy access to internet has lead to increase in the search of online information. It’s not only the youngsters who go online, even the elderly patients seek online information about their disease and treatment.
This trend of cyber education has its benefits but it can have potential dangers too because of wrong information or wrong interpretation of the information. The information provided online may not be accurate and sometimes because of lack of medical knowledge leads to wrong interpretation of the information. I have seen patients get extremely stressed about their minor skin problems after visiting online sites. And on the other side patients with serious skin diseases(who need medical treatment under supervision), seem to delay medical consultation because of inaccurate online information and thus suffer more.
Be net savvy, look for those sites which provide fair and good information without a bias. There are educational sites from medical organisations which provide unbiased knowledge regarding causes, clinical management. These help you understand your skin problem and treat it. These sites are regularly reviewed and updated by the best experts in medical fraternity.
There are independent websites or blogs by doctors themselves who try to help patients understand their disease and manage it. But do remember to check on the credentials, it should be a authorised dermatologist with a recognised degree. As it is easy to access net, hence it’s also easy to create a website and write a blog under any name. There are promotional websites which are informative and educative, but are promoting or selling their own products.
The social media like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube are very popular platform for interaction. They are used to promote and advertise personal….
The professional organisations also use the social media to spread knowledge and awareness and are more reliable over the other sites.
There are always two sides to a coin, the cyber education is the thing now, but beware of the dangers. Do check with your skin specialist in Ludhiana when you go for a personal consultation. Carry your query list and clarify all your doubts and myths. Discuss all that you learnt online and pay heed to the advice given by your doctor.
The internet is to stay, both doctors and patients should take full advantage of this technology, but do not be misguided. Be an informed patient.