Overall, the study authors found that about 6 out of 10 publications highlighted only the positive side of the slowdown, while only 2 out of 10 mentioned the potential risks.
“What we found wasn’t necessarily misinformation, but it’s often a lack of information,” Pagani said. “Often, there was no inclusion of risks.”
In addition to the increased risk of facial acne among acne-prone patients, Pagani said there’s also a risk that any topical skin medication applied prior to blistering could become trapped under petroleum-based ointments, and thus potentially be absorbed deeper — and for longer periods of time. – What was originally intended.
“Now, sluggishness is one of the relatively harmless things that can be found on TikTok,” Pagani admitted. “But even in the case of mostly benign beauty trends, the hope is that viewers get accurate information from reliable sources, science-backed information based on data and research. Because trends or other beauty products can certainly be more harmful than something like swiping.”
The results were recently published in the journal Clinics in dermatology.
It’s that broader issue that concerns Kelly Jarrett, director of the College of Communications at Ohio State University.
“It’s no wonder that people end up searching for health information in these digital spaces,” said Garrett, who noted that social media is familiar, easy to use, and can be an effective way to conduct research.
Medical professionals are not the only provider of useful health information. “For example, a person with cancer can have important insights, too,” Garrett said.
But, he noted, the problem is that “on social media, the goals of content creators are not always clear.
“Publications by healthcare providers are often intended to inform, but other creators may be more interested in providing entertainment, persuading consumers to buy something, or just generating traffic to their content,” Garrett said. “Consumers who misunderstand creators’ goals can end up misleading about the content, too.”
All of this means that it is important for social media users to be aware of the risks involved in seeking health information online, said Garrett, who was not involved in the study.