The internet is a great source of information – some good and some bad. You do need to exercise care about what information you glean and what information you actually put to use – especially when it comes to your health.
Start by taking everything with a pinch of salt – if someone says that their tip will cure acne in two weeks, work on four to be on the safe side. Information is currency on the net and there are plenty who try to cash in on this. Not everyone cares about putting the right advice out there though.
Start off with an acid test – would this make sense to me and my friends? Imagine you had to explain this idea to a group of friends – would they laugh or take it seriously?
Take, for example, that old chestnut that did the rounds about KFC using genetically modified chickens that had no heads – unbelievable but a lot of people fell for it.
The problem is that a lot of the health “advice” out there does seem to make good sense – it is not as sensational as the KFC hoax and sounds reasonable.
You need to have your own way of sorting out whether these are truth or fiction – your own snopes.com, if you will.
Any sentence that starts off with, “You won’t believe ….” is likely to be unbelievable and could be nonsense. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is, ignore completely.
Take a look at a well-respected site like WebMD. It does not make outrageous claims and the articles discuss the pros and cons. You leave more fully informed.
That is a sign that the information was well researched. Personal sites and blogs may be less credible. A good test is to see how well they explain.
Proper research makes explanations easier and leaves room to add references. Thumb sucking leads to info that is more vague and nebulous.
You also need to see if there is any way to verify the claims that were made – if this is fact, there should be other sites, etc.
When it comes to the health of your skin, it may be wise to find out how credible the advice is by asking your dermatologist – they will be able to give a definitive answer.