Is this a rash? OR “Classifieds Sites do not replace the advice of Licensed Medical Professionals”

It’s a Questionable Classifieds Day! I am hoping to start posting these on Fridays however it really depends on my material so if you see any questionable posts on your local buy-sell boards, kijiji or even the old fashioned newspaper, send them my way

So back to today’s QC. Here I am trying to figure out where to start on this one. Frankly, I can’t believe I am even saying this, but guess what, apparently it needs to be said.

Classifieds sites do not replace the advice of Licensed Medical Professionals.

I know this sounds like information that most people should know, and I understand that sometimes for minor ailments you may ask friends and family for advice on whether they have encountered something before. I know I often call up my Mom or Sister and ask for advice about things C is going through. But questions like “Teething can cause a minor fever right? I should monitor it and not go to the doctor right away?” in a private phone call is different than posting a classified soliciting medical advice from legions of strangers.

But here we are. Apparently, some people think that is an appropriate place to seek medical advice. I know it is very popular to look for answers to questions on the internet. The Birth Month Groups on sites like Baby Center are rife with people asking if what their baby is going through is normal and I know that a lot of us (especially Laid Back Mommies) out there don’t want to rush to the doctor for every little thing so seeing if you can find an answer on-line is especially tempting. At least on birth group sites the purpose is to discuss topics with others going through the same thing so it seems reasonable to me for non-serious, minor medical conditions someone is going through.

Classified sites are another beast all together.

When I am on these sites, I am likely looking to buy something or see what might be out there on the market. What I am not wanting to see if graphic descriptions of your medical issues, and even less than that are graphic descriptions accompanied by pictures.

Today’s entry into the world of Questionable Classifieds comes from a local buy-sell group.


In the grand scheme of medical problems, this  probably isn’t that bad. Lot’s of people get hives. I mysteriously get them once in a while. Sometimes I don’t know what causes them but I take some Benadryl if they are particularly bothersome and move on with life.

But what we are seeing here is a person with a large amount of Hives covering her arms. She says she got them at the same time of year last year and they lasted a week. She seems pretty knowledgeable about her symptoms and history and even identifies them as hives. I can’t figure out why she posted this? She seems to know exactly what it is and a very cursory search of google and medical sites would probably answer her questions and confirm they are probably hives and that some Benadryl will help if they are really bad.

Posting a picture of your inflamed arm for a bunch of strangers to comment on is just bizarre to my mind.

Considering that this person got them at the same time last year and they lasted for a week it is likely a seasonal allergy of some kind. Instead of seeking out information from strangers – whose reason for being in the facebook is to generally sell clothes and toys their kids have outgrown – she should probably make an appointment with a doctor* or failing that seek advice from reputable medical websites.

People looking for a good deal on a used bike for their kids really don’t want to be confronted with your skin conditions. So just stop it. Classifieds sites and buy sell groups are not for you to solicit medical advice from.

If wouldn’t walk down the street asking strangers what a rash on your arm was then you shouldn’t do this on facebook either. End of Discussion.

Thanks everyone! Enjoy your weekend and remember if you see something weird on a classified or buy sell group send it my way to all personally identifying information will be redacted and items will be posted anonymously.

*Some people may respond that this person may not have insurance however this post comes to us from Canada where universal health coverage means that the provincial drug plan would cover a trip to GP or walk in clinic to get this looked at and while I recognize that there may be other limitations preventing someone to seek medical care (raising kids, shift work etc) I still maintain that there are more appropriate places to get your medical advice that are not a mom and dad buy sell group on Facebook.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s