Internet Medical Information: Reader Beware - Toronto Dermatology Centre
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Internet Medical Information: Reader Beware

So did you know that peanut butter causes cancer? Well it must be true because I read it on the Internet. In fact you wouldn’t believe the things I read on the Internet. Oh, wait you probably would, because aren’t we all connected? I know I check out everything online, every question I have, every doubt I have. And for some reason, we believe if it says so there, then it must be true.

When I write my blogs, I go to reliable sources. I get my information from medical documents, medical online journals, or from the source of my topic directly. I don’t rewrite something some random person has put on the Internet. I don’t reiterate garbage from sources like It is necessary to be able to weed out lies and know that your information has come from reliable sources…..and then find more to back it up.

Because some companies know that bad publicity, no matter how inaccurate it is, will go viral quickly, they don’t mind the risk of fraud, if it can damage another company at the same time. For a slap on the wrist, one nasty article can spread worldwide in a matter of days, hours even. Products like Hydroquinone never really recovered from the false rumors about it, even to this day. People read something and word spreads. Next thing you know, that product or company is walking around with a scarlet letter written all over them. When proper testing was done, only a month after the fact, proving that the rumors of Hydroquinone were false, it didn’t matter. The damage was already done. And companies toting other means of skin lightening products were ecstatic. They couldn’t compete with the speed at which Hydroquinone worked, so it was much easier to simply eliminate the competition.

What is important to note, is that any medical grade product has to go through extensive testing, both from the country of origin and then from the country of import. At TDC, all of our products are FDA (if American based) and Health Canada approved. Most of us are aware of the difficulties to get medical products approved for Canadian consumers. Why would we think it is different for medical grade skin care? The same logic applies.

There was a recent article suggesting that Elta MD, our gold standard sunscreen line was giving false SPF ratings. They suggested that the SPF 45 was only an SPF 22. Where did they get this information? Did they do the same testing that Health Canada and Elta MD did? Or are they a biased writer working for one of the competing sunscreen companies?

Rumors are always flying, from the TNS Essential Serum from SkinMedica to SkinCeuticals and onward. People who subscribe to Paula’s Choice will find that every product on the market is toxic, except their own of course! Everyone has an agenda. So be wise, ask questions and don’t take every “fact” you see written as truth.

The next time you read that coconut oil cures cancer or that Kim Kardashian just gave birth to a two-headed alien from Mars, check your sources first.

~ Sheri Roselle, Medical Esthetician at Toronto Dermatology Centre

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