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August 06, 2012 06:08 PM

The Social Dermatologist

The internet has no doubt changed the way people communicate and find information. Millions of Americans turn to the web for health information.  But it's not always the most accurate.  That's why a KELOLAND doctor has created her own website and Facebook page.

Emma Segeleon is in the dermatologist's office to get a mole removed. While the 19-year-old does schedule time for doctor's appointments, like most teens, she also gets medical information from other sources.

In fact, Segeleon is one of more than 7,400 people who have "liked" Dr. Kelly Jerstad's Facebook page, called "The Social Dermatologist."

"You're already on the Internet. Why not make it productive and get your medical questions answered?" Segeleon asked.

Jerstad provides information through blogs, pictures, and videos. She has both a Facebook page and a website.

"I wanted to force myself to stay up on social media so I wasn't one of those doctors who fell behind the times. I want to stay relevant. I want to keep my practice relevant," Jerstad said.

Jerstad picks her topics based on what questions she often gets from patients and friends.

"I have people follow me from a lot of different countries, even Australia. I have a lot of people from Australia," Jerstad said.

So with medical information online, when should you go in and see your doctor? Jerstad says it depends on how serious your symptoms are and whether they're ongoing.

"It really depends; if it's a changing lesion for instance, they need to come in. They shouldn't get on the internet and self-diagnose," Jerstad said.

Also, while there is a large collection of medical information online, a lot of the information does not come from doctors or other reliable sources.

"I wanted people to get accurate information, unbiased, truthful. I'm not trying to sell anything. I want to give them the real deal," Jerstad said.

That is one of the reasons why Segeleon not only likes "The Social Dermatologist," but also sees her in person.

"I think it's great, especially for me being a college student. A lot of clinics aren't open on Saturdays and I have classes all during the week.  So if you need a visit, it's much easier to go and look on her Facebook page and have someone who you know will give you professional, correct advice," Segeleon said.

You can watch Jerstad's videos on The Social Dermatologist website and Facebook page.

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