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Can You Get A Diagnosis For Rosacea On The Internet?


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Rosaceans Diagnosing on the Internet
What we are discussing in this post is trying to get a rosacea diagnosis from other rosacea sufferers in rosacea social media groups, which technically is 'diagnosing on the internet.'  We are not focusing about getting a diagnosis online from a dermatologist, which is a better idea that we will discuss in the next subheading, and makes way more sense than asking rosaceans (rosacea sufferers).  

It is not a good idea to get a diagnosis of rosacea on the internet, particularly posting on a private social media rosacea group, i.e, Reddit, Facebook, etc.,  and ask, IS THIS ROSACEA?, beside the fact that such a diagnosis is illegal and unethical, since diagnosis of rosacea is only made by a physician, particularly a dermatologist. You may think you are just as smart to self diagnose your skin condition but that isn't a good idea either. And really, do you think posting your photo on a social network and asking the group, 'is this rosacea?' is the way you should get a diagnosis? [1]

If you are asking, 'IS THIS ROSACEA?', to a social media group for rosacea, you may not be aware that there are a huge number of skin diseases and conditions that present with erythema. The differential diagnosis that is required by a physician to go through is a growing list which you may review here. Do you think that other Rosaceans in a social media group have the qualifications to differentiate rosacea from other skin diseases? 

Often after viewing photo(s) of the individual who is asking, 'Is this rosacea?,' the posters invariably respond, 'that looks exactly like mine!' since they are now obviously 'experts' at diagnosing rosacea. These 'experts' can look at a photo posted on a blog or social media group, i.e., Facebook or Reddit, and differentiate rosacea from all the other skin conditions that look exactly like rosacea. So who needs to see a dermatologist when you have a rosacea Facebook/Reddit group to tell you what you have? Really? You trust such a diagnosis?  Do you really think that is way to diagnose your particular erythema?

Remember, erythema is just one of the usual signs of rosacea, and at the same time found in a huge number of other skin conditions/diseases. 

You really should obtain a proper diagnosis of rosacea from a dermatologist to rule out any other possible rosacea mimic and differentiate other skin conditions that might co-exist.  You might have a variant of rosacea or you should know what rosacea phenotype you may have. If your physician is still using subtypes, your physician isn't keeping up with phenotypes

Internet Diagnosis From a Dermatologist (Online Diagnosis)
With the coronavirus epidemic, doctors are now diagnosing more frequently using online virtual sessions with patients, so this is possible, and therefore, would it not be prudent to ask a dermatologist this question rather than a group of rosacea sufferers who all have rosacea (or some other rosacea mimic) and already have a bias with their own rosacea experience?

Even with online virtual exams available, one report says, "Virtual Exams No Substitute for In-Person Care of Acne and Rosacea."

Still, you may be able to get an online diagnosis from a dermatologist. Why not call a dermatologist and ask if this is possible?

While some websites offer an internet diagnosis if you pay money and send photos and a history, usually requiring an online video conference, do you really think this would be better than actually visiting a dermatologist (or calling one over the phone using a video conference) who looks closely at your skin issue with an online diagnosis tool, takes a detailed history and possibly take some tests to rule out rosacea mimics? There really hasn't been any reports from rosaceans that they received an internet diagnosis from a physician, as far we know now, but without a doubt we will be hearing more about internet diagnosis made by physicians.  

Of course, as this becomes more acceptable, without a doubt, an online visit with a doctor may prove to be easier. Just google 'online doctor visit' and note the number of websites offering this service. Why not let us know your experience with obtaining an online internet diagnosis by posting your results in this thread? Wouldn't it be helpful to volunteer and post your experience if you have rosacea and actually obtained an online internet diagnosis? Tell us if you found a dermatologist who gave you an online diagnosis, please. Find the reply button and post your experience. Here are some links:

SkyMD

CallOnDoc Online Dermatologist

PlushCare Online Doctor 

UK online diagnosis from a dermatologist

Ask the Doctor (AtD) Services

There are now a growing number of Ask the Doctor (AdD) services growing. One report on this new approach concluded, "The most common topic requested crowd-diagnosis (Nobles et al. 2019) of a dermatological issue. These posts were often accompanied by a photo to aid diagnosis." [2] This same report said, "the number of physicians participating in this community is low in comparison to the number of posters. Physicians’ use of online tools to communicate with patients is low, in part because physicians’ experiences and attitudes towards information technology vary (Antoun 2015). Some do not believe their patients want or can communicate effectively online; others do not feel confident they can effectively use these platforms or perceive it as an additional burden (Antheunis, Tates, and Nieboer 2013b). However, as Thompson, Younes, and Miller (2012) noted, social media is the new vehicle for patient engagement in medicine - “our patients are doing it [using social media], so this is where we need to be.” [2]

Etcetera

Ros-NET Diagnosis Tool

Can you self diagnose rosacea?

What Is Rosacea?

What Should I Ask My Physician?

What is involved with diagnosing rosacea?

Differential Diagnosis Of Rosacea

Rosacea Mimics

Co-existing Conditions

Rosacea Newbies

Diagnosing Rosacea In Five Minutes Or Less

Is Rosacea A ‘Complicated Diagnosis Path’ And Mysterious Disorder?

End Notes

[1] A typical example is found in a PUBLIC post on Reddit and notice how many 'experts' identify with the photo and give a diagnosis. 

[2] Proc Int AAAI Conf Weblogs Soc Media. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2020 Jul 28.
Examining Peer-to-Peer and Patient-Provider Interactions on a Social Media Community Facilitating Ask the Doctor Services
Alicia L. Nobles, Eric C. Leas, Mark Dredze,  John W. Ayers

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