Cutaneous Side Effects of Steroid Use in Dermatophytosis
Background: Dermatophytosis is a common, superficial fungal infection of the skin. Recently, there has been tremendous increase in the incidence of dermatophytosis attributed mainly to misuse of steroids in the management of fungal infection.
Methods: A cross sectional study of 6 months duration was done in patients with dermatophytic fungal infections, diagnosed clinically, with history or findings of some form of steroid use. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected regarding steroid formulations about type, duration of use, route of administration and their availability by prescription or “over the counter”. Various cutaneous and systemic adverse effects of steroids were also observed.
Results: Out of the total 200 patients of dermatophytosis, 120 patients (60%) had used steroid formulations either topical(80%), oral(12.5%), intralesional or injectable(7.5%).The mean duration of illness in patients who had used steroids was 24 ± 3 weeks. Multiple site infection of dermatophytosis was present in 65% with steroid misuse and in 40.8% with nonsteroid use patient group. Cutaneous adverse effects were common in patients with steroid misuse, as suggested by relatives, friends, chemist, general practitioners or due to self-medication.
Conclusions: Misuse of steroid formulations in dermatophytic infections may result in various cutaneous and systemic side effects. Strict drug control policies and awareness of adverse effects of steroid abuse are truly the need of the hour to control this menace.
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