The use of social media platforms to discuss and educate the public on allergic contact dermatitis

Morgan Nguyen, Slaton Case, Nina Botto, Walter Liszewski*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Social media platforms are increasingly used by patients to research and discuss medical problems. Objective: The aim of this study was to identify by whom, how frequently, and in what manner allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) is discussed on social media sites. Methods: Search terms “allergic contact dermatitis” and “contact dermatitis” were queried across Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, Facebook, YouTube, and Google search metrics. The frequency, content, and creators of the content were assessed. Results: ACD content was identified on all platforms, generated by by patients, physicians, professional organizations, and companies. When comparing the volume of posts, more content was on Instagram than Twitter, particularly among patients. Patient support groups were identified on Facebook but not on Reddit. A formal analysis of YouTube videos found that the medical information presented in these videos was often of poor quality. Conclusions: Patch testing physicians should be aware that information on ACD exists across social media sites. While some content is generated by physicians, patients and industry groups also post and share material. Patch testing physicians should know that there is an opportunity to share ACD information, but they should also be aware that patients are posting and creating online support communities independent of physicians. Highlights: Online support communities exist for patients with ACD on Facebook. Online information is of lower quality, with a mean QUEST quality score of 7.4/28 on reviewed YouTube videos. Of the five social media sites reviewed, patients are most active on Instagram, Reddit, and Facebook. Approximately 9000 Google searches per month are conducted using contact dermatitis-related search terms. Differences in terminology exist between physicians and non-physicians. While the most popular hashtag term was “contact dermatitis”, physicians disproportionately authored posts tagged with “allergic contact dermatitis.”.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)196-203
Number of pages8
JournalContact Dermatitis
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • allergic contact dermatitis
  • epidemiology
  • irritant contact dermatitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Dermatology


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