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Int J Dermatol. 2009 May;48(5):506-12. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-4632.2009.04040.x.

Common sources of skin care education: a cross-sectional study.

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Department of Dermatology, University of California, San Diego, CA, USA.



The resources used by the public to locate health information are important.


To expose the sources from which the public gains a knowledge of dermatology.


An anonymous, multiple-choice questionnaire was distributed to adults in college campuses, shopping malls, and community parks over a 4-month period.


Sixty-six percent of individuals stated that they felt physicians had the most authority for making recommendations regarding the skin. When questioned about the sources of skin care advice, however, there was a discrepancy, with only 35% stating that they actually consulted professionals. Indeed, 37% admitted to using family and friends as their primary source of information, and 28% used the media first.


In our opinion, the best method to ensure healthy skin habits and early diagnosis of disease would be to combine the efforts of healthcare and the media. These public resources should make people aware of skin diseases and preventative measures, whilst encouraging regular check-ups with dermatologists and persuading patients to employ open conversation with their physicians regarding care of their skin.

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