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Dermatology Online Journal

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Public perception of dermatologic surgery in Saudi Arabia: an online survey


Background: Dermatologic surgery is a wellestablishedsubspecialty in dermatology, butobservations suggest that the public may not beaware of this field.Objective: To explore the public perception of thenature and scope of dermatologic surgeryMethods: A cross-sectional online-based surveyconsisting of two parts was used. The first part recordeddemographic data. The second part presented aseries of clinical scenarios in common surgical andcosmetic procedures performed by dermatologicsurgeons to determine respondents’ choice amongthree specialties: general surgery, plastic surgery, anddermatologic surgery.Results: A total of 1,248 responses were recorded.Seventy-four percent of respondents were female,with 80.29% between the ages of 18 and 34 years.Forty-nine percent considered dermatologic surgeonsto be specialized skin surgeons and 71.63% said theywould consult dermatologic surgeons for skin tumorexcisions. However, plastic surgeons emerged morefavorably for cosmetic procedures. For office-basedprocedures, 80.85% and 87.18% of respondentschose plastic surgeons for fillers and Botox® injections,respectively, compared to 15.79% and 12.02% ofrespondents who chose dermatologic surgeons.Conclusions: Although the majority of participantsshowed no doubt about the surgical skills ofdermatologic surgeons, the responses demonstratethat the public is not aware of the full scope andpractice of dermatologic surgery, especially as itpertains to cosmetic procedures. Therefore, we musteducate the public about the field and branches ofdermatologic surgery.

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