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Angelo Landriscina, MD, Describes the Impact of TikTok on Society and Patients

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Dermatologists can use TikTok to educate the public on skin care and dispel incorrect information.

Your newest generation of patients may be turning to TikTok instead of Google to search for information relevant to them, and Angelo Landriscina, MD, FAAD, with West Broadway Medical PC in Brooklyn, New York, says it is worth providing a professional voice in skin care on the platform patients are on. He shared social media pearls at the 2023 Society for Pediatric Dermatology Meeting on July 15 in Asheville, North Carolina, about TikTok and its influence on patients and their parents in his presentation “Panel: TikTok Fact vs Fad.”1

Landriscina pointed out that while TikTok’s goal is to become the go-to search tool, the app is difficult to search and the content that patients find tends to be “viral,” not necessarily correct. Even with that limitation, it is quickly becoming the favorite search tool for those on social media. The platform has no way to vet the content, though, so patients and their parents often come to appointments with information they have gotten from influencers that is completely incorrect.

Those who use TikTok see creator-curated content as someone they share commonalities or a relationship with, which creates a feeling of trust.“ The majority of the information on TikTok regarding skin care and skin conditions is not created by dermatologists,” Landriscina noted in his session.

We are the leaders when it comes to this type of information,” said Landriscina. He added, “Share some of the information you’re talking about all the time because people are going to be really interested in that.”

He explained that the top diagnoses posted about were acne, alopecia, and cysts, and content tends to focus on treatment, diagnosis, and patient empathy. He also pointed out that information about Black skin or skin of color was more likely to be created by someone other than a dermatologist. 

Angelo Landriscina, MD, has been dispelling skin care myths on TikTok since 2019.

Angelo Landriscina, MD, has been dispelling skin care myths on TikTok since 2019.

When developing posts, he recommends using short form video content to post to social media, as it is the most digestible for users. Because of the unique algorithm TikTok uses to determine what is going on someone’s feed, it is difficult to create audience loyalty.

Landriscina started using social media in 2019 and posts daily on TikTok. He encourages clinicians to, “Just do it. Go for it.” It is important for dermatologists to get correct information on social media because that is where patients, and their parents, are spending their time.

Reference

  1. Landriscina A. Panel: TikTok vs Fad. Session presented at the 2023 Society of Pediatric Dermatology Meeting; July 13-16, 2023. Asheville, NC.
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