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Researchers Rap Infantile Hemangiomas Web Sites

Analysis shows that only a few sites accurately describe the disease course and treatment options

FRIDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Among Internet sites that address infantile hemangiomas, most do not accurately depict the full disease spectrum from innocuous to severe, and many present a biased view of treatment options, researchers report in the December issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Karen Minzer-Conzetti, M.D., of the University of California San Francisco, and colleagues conducted a Google search for "hemangioma" and identified 50 relevant sites, which were evaluated by eight pediatric dermatologists.

Of the 50 Web sites, 46 contained uninformed or misleading information about infantile hemangiomas, including inaccurate photographic representations of the disease and presentation of treatment options, the report indicates. The investigators found that only four sites contained accurate, complete and potentially helpful information that most of the raters agreed would be recommended to parents.

"Online educational resources containing a broader overview of the real disease spectrum of infantile hemangiomas are needed," the authors conclude. "Such sites should ideally include large numbers of photographs including evolution of disease with spontaneous involution and with various treatment modalities, evidence-based content and resources for parental support."

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