HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Paris, France or Virtually from your home or work.
Olga Pawlik, Speaker at Dermatology Conference
Nepean Hospital, Australia
Title : Investigating childhood eczema treatments promoted on tik tok against clinical best practice guidelines


Complications of poorly controlled childhood eczema include sleep disturbance and behavioural issues, as well as scarring and severe infections such as eczema Herpeticum. Social media is a modern source of health information for young adults and with over 755 million users1, Tik Tok is one of the most far-reaching social media platforms. This cross-sectional study examines the quality of health information surrounding paediatric eczema and how it compares with evidence-based treatments. 216 videos relating childhood eczema were identified using the prompts ‘Child Eczema’, ‘Childhood Eczema’ and ‘Baby Eczema’. Videos which related to adults, did not mention eczema, or did not contain spoken or written English were excluded (n=83). Of the 114 videos eligible, only 19 were created by healthcare professionals. The quality of information was analysed using the DISCERN score by two healthcare professionals. There was a strong correlation between the DISCERN scores. (Spearman rank correlation coefficient (p) 0.999, (p<0.001). The average discern score was poor, scoring 1.16 out of 5 possible points (Standard Deviation = 0.31). Videos created by healthcare professionals scored better overall (Discern Coefficient= 1.84, Standard Deviation=0.23). The most recommended treatment was the use of ointments and creams (n=70), with various non-evidence-based treatments being the second most common (n=35). The most common of these were oat baths (n=17) as well as dietary changes (n=13). Other evidence-based treatments observed included the use of soap substitutes (n=16) and topical steroids (n=16), avoidance of allergens (n=10), wet wraps (n=5) and bleach baths (n=3). Most videos were personal anecdotes (n=90), followed by advertisements (n=23) and Advice & Guidance (n=20).This analysis demonstrates overall poor quality of information surrounding paediatric eczema management available to parents online as well as possible misconceptions. This analysis also suggests that patients are accessing information relating to ointments and creams, but other evidence-based treatments are underrepresented on social media. This represents an opportunity for targeted public health efforts to better educate parents of other evidence-based measures.

Audience Take Away Notes:

  • Exploring health advice currently available on non-traditional information sources.
  • Evaluating the evidence-basis for information online, created by healthcare professionals and parents.
  • Understanding the false information and low-quality advice available to parents of children with eczema allows practitioners to combat misinformation.
  • An awareness of the eczema advice that parents may be accessing online, enables practitioners to promote under-represented evidence-based treatments.


Olga Pawlik studied Medicine at St. George’s Medical School of London and graduated with an MBBS in 2020. She is currently completing a postgraduate diploma in Practical Dermatology from Cardiff University UK. Olga is currently working at Nepean Hospital, New South Wales, Australia and hoping to pursue a career in dermatology.