The following article is a part of conference coverage from the 2022 American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting , held live from March 25 through March 29 in Boston, Massachusetts. The team at Dermatology Advisor will be reporting on the latest news and research conducted by leading experts in dermatology. Check back for more from the 2022 AAD Annual Meeting .


As social media becomes a more and more popular platform on which to post content on various skin disorders, researchers sought to evaluate patient and medical-oriented posts regarding common skin disorders on Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok, according to study results presented at the 2022 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), held from March 25 to 29, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Investigators utilized 20 hashtags for medical and nonmedical terms for a total of 10 skin disorders. Posts that were not in English or deemed irrelevant were not utilized. The top 30 posts for each social media outlet were classified into 3 categories: medical education targeting medical trainees, patient education, and purely social.

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Hashtags with the most posts in the educational category on Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok were #acnevulgaris, #rosacea, and #cellulitis. Twitter and Instagram had a dearth of posts for alopecia and psoriasis that were educational in nature, it was noted.

The social media platform with the largest a number of posts relating to medical education was Twitter (7.9±9.7%), while TikTok had the largest number of posts relating to patient education (14.6±12.2%). A medical term hashtag search on Twitter provided a return of more medical education posts (9.7±8.6%) than a search of their corresponding nonmedical terms (1.1±1.8%) (P =.01).

The researchers concluded, “Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok can serve [as] platforms for providing educational materials for common skin conditions. Despite differences in means of information dissemination to audiences, the amount of the educational materials are similar. Educational contents on alopecia and psoriasis on Twitter and Instagram are warranted.”


Shu H, Chaosen ML, Chaocheng HL. Social media as a platform for medical and patient education in dermatology. Presented at the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) 2022 Annual Meeting; March 25-29, 2022. Abstract/Poster 34799.

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