Overall, the study authors found that about 6 in 10 publications only highlighted the benefits of slugging, while only 2 in 10 mentioned possible risks.
“What we found was not necessarily misinformation, but often a lack of information,” Pagani said. “Most of the time there was simply no inclusion of risks.”
Beyond an increased risk of facial acne in acne-prone patients, Pagani said there’s also a risk that any topical skin medication applied before slugging will essentially get trapped under the ointments. of oil, and therefore potentially absorbed deeper – and for longer periods of time. — than originally planned.
“Now slugging is one of the relatively harmless things you can find on TikTok,” Pagani acknowledged. “But even with mostly benign beauty trends, the hope is that viewers will get accurate information from trusted sources, information backed by science based on data and research. Because others trends or beauty products can certainly be more potentially harmful than something like hitting.”
The results were recently published in the journal Dermatology clinics.
It’s this larger question that preoccupies Kelly Garrett, director of the School of Communication at Ohio State University.
“It’s no wonder people end up looking for health information in these digital spaces,” said Garrett, who emphasized that social media is familiar, easy to use, and can be an empowering way to do business. the research.
And health professionals are not the only providers of useful health information. “For example, someone who is living with a cancer diagnosis may also have important information,” Garrett said.
But the problem, he noted, is that “on social media, the goals of content creators aren’t always obvious.
“Messages from healthcare providers are often intended to inform, but other creators may be more interested in providing entertainment, persuading consumers to buy something, or simply driving traffic to their content,” said said Garrett. “Consumers who misunderstand creators’ goals can also be misled about content.”
All of this means it’s vital that social media users are aware of the risks involved when seeking health information online, said Garrett, who was not involved in the study.