When the visual symptoms of a skin condition first become apparent, people often turn to the web for comfort, scouring Google images for photos of similar bumps or discolouration and possibly encountering incorrect information.
To address this phenomenon, the Australasian College of Dermatologists (ACD) has launched the ‘A to Z of Skin’ tool, an online directory of skin conditions, created and peer-reviewed by more than 100 Australian dermatologists.
The directory aims to offer a reliable source of information for people taking to the internet to find out more about skin conditions and their symptoms.
ACD president associate professor Chris Baker said: "The best option for anyone suffering from a skin complaint is to visit a GP or a dermatologist, however we know there is an increasing number of patients who search their symptoms and conditions online”.
Baker said while the resource should not be used in isolation as a substitute to visiting a GP or dermatologist, it does provide carefully reviewed information that may help educate a wide variety of people.
The directory houses images relating to more than 200 conditions and includes details such as causes, dermatological terms, possible treatment types and related illnesses.
The tool also aims to raise awareness of health issues that are linked to skin conditions.
“In practice, dermatologists have observed that many patients are uninformed of other medical issues which may be connected to common dermatological conditions,” Baker said. “For example, patients with severe psoriasis have a higher risk of arthritis, type 2 diabetes and developing heart disease.”
Baker added while the directory can be directly accessed by the general public, it can also be used by GPs, nurses and allied health professionals as an extra resource to help inform their patients.
To view the directory, go here.Do you have an idea for a story?
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