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Dermatology on Reddit: elucidating trends in dermatologic communications on the world wide web

  • Author(s): Buntinx-Krieg, Talayesa
  • Caravaglio, Joseph
  • Domozych, Renee
  • Dellavalle, Robert P
  • et al.
Creative Commons 'BY-NC-ND' version 4.0 license
Abstract

Platforms of social media, including the website Reddit, have become increasingly popular sites for users to communicate medical information. A study investigating dermatology content on Reddit has not been performed in the current literature. The purpose of this study is to enumerate the dermatology subreddits, quantify subscribers, and characterize posts to estimate the presence of dermatology-related content on Reddit. A Reddit search of the fourteen most common skin diseases globally was performed. Additionally, the terms “dermatology”, and “skin” were searched in order to identify more subreddits relevant to the field. Dermatology-related subreddits that had ≥1000 subscribers were evaluated for content and categorized for analysis. We identified 38 subreddits related to dermatology with subscriber numbers ranging from 52 to 209,973. For 17 of the 38 subreddits that were further analyzed, most posts fell under the category of “seeking health/cosmetic advice.” Reddit serves as a communication stage for individuals to discuss, engage, and connect on dermatologic topics. Furthermore, the platform offers an opportunity for medical professionals to distribute evidence-based information concerning dermatologic conditions.

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