Background: Social interests and the prevalence of skin disease have increased rapidly along with social development and improvement of life quality. Information on skin diseases and aesthetics are available through the internet and mass media. However, there have been few studies on the value of this information and the treatment-seeking behavior of patients. Objective: To evaluate the recognition of skin health and diseases in patients who visit dermatology clinics and to improve the role of dermatologists in the process. Methods: From March, 2008, to April, 2008, 1901 patients were asked to complete a questionnaire in 62 dermatologic hospitals. The questions covered: purposes of visiting the clinic; duration of skin disease; treatment-seeking behavior; recognition of the prescribed medicine; compliance and common sense about representative skin problems. Results: Patients visited the dermatologic clinic because of skin disease for 67.39% of patients, esthetic treatment in 22.88% of patients, and both in 9.73% of patients. For visits to a dermatology clinic for skin problems, 61.28% of patients visited a clinic but 38.72% did not. Most (81.38%) patients followed the doctor's prescription. Most negative responses to prescribed medicine were due to the internet and mass media or wrong information from pharmacists (52.24%). Moreover, patients who learned about skin diseases and prescription medicines through the internet usually lacked compliance and common sense regarding their skin problems. Conclusion: The internet can provide good information about healthy skin and skin diseases, but we have to consider its disadvantages of exaggeration and misbelief. The effects of this tool have been overstated and excessively publicized in comparison to actual established clinical results. Use of the internet may delay diagnosis and decrease compliance. Consequently, dermatologists have to provide correct information to minimize the disadvantages of internet information. Patients who have abnormal skin problems should visit dermatologic clinics to be evaluated and treated appropriately.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Korean Journal of Dermatology|
|Publication status||Published - 2010 Mar|
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