If you’re living with psoriasis, you’ve probably scoured the internet for skin care and health information to help you manage your condition. You also may have wondered if you can trust the info you find to guide decisions about your health condition. Here are five tips to help you make sure you get reliable, high-quality, and up-to-date information when searching for online health information.
Dermatologists are doctors who specialize in treating skin conditions. When searching for information on different types of psoriasis, such as plaque psoriasis, check to see if a dermatologist was involved in the article’s publication.
If a doctor didn’t write the article, see if it was medically reviewed — that means a doctor or other health care professional read the article and approved it for medical accuracy.
Below is an example of medically reviewed psoriasis content on MyPsoriasisTeam: 10 Facts About Psoriasis You Should Know. You can see that a medical doctor (in this case, a board-certified dermatologist) reviewed the article for medical accuracy.
Articles published on hospital or clinical websites are good sources of medically reviewed health information. For example, Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, and other health systems and hospitals publish reliable online information geared toward people who aren’t doctors or scientists.
You can also look for information published by condition-specific organizations or national institutes. The National Psoriasis Foundation is a large nonprofit focused on research and advocacy for people with psoriatic disease. The American Academy of Dermatology is a professional association for dermatologists. Both organizations provide information and resources for people who want to learn more about psoriasis.
Just because an article was published a few years ago doesn’t automatically mean it’s incorrect. However, medicine evolves quickly, so it doesn’t take long for information to become outdated. For example, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved three new drugs for psoriasis in 2022. Articles published earlier than that won’t include the latest treatments.
Look for articles that were published or updated within the past few years to make sure you’re getting the most accurate medical information.
Below is an article from MyPsoriasisTeam discussing treatments for psoriatic arthritis: 8 Treatments for Psoriatic Arthritis: What’s Best for You? This article was published in early 2023.
If you’re seeking online health information from somewhere other than a hospital or credible medical organization, remember to check who the publisher is. Beware of content from websites that are trying to sell you something, such as supplements, creams and ointments, or other wellness items that haven’t been approved by the FDA. This information may be written to market a specific product rather than provide trustworthy information about psoriasis treatment options in general.
When reading articles online, be sure to check the references — the author’s sources of information. You can usually find a list of references at the end of an article.
Make sure the references include peer-reviewed journals and reputable websites, such as hospitals and condition-specific organizations. “Peer-reviewed” means that other experts in the field have reviewed the article.
At the bottom of 7 Things You Should Know About Clinical Trials for Psoriasis, you can see a list of references. If you click on the arrow, you will see these types of trustworthy sources.
MyPsoriasisTeam is the social network for people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis and their loved ones. On MyPsoriasisTeam, more than 120,000 members come together to ask questions, give advice, and share their stories with others who understand life with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
Are you living with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis? Do you wonder if you can trust online articles and advice about your condition? What tips can you offer others searching for reliable sources of information about psoriasis? Share your experience in the comments below, or start a conversation by posting on your Activities page.