Abuse of Topical Corticosteroids and its Consequences: A Prospective Study
Background: Misuse of topical corticosteroids is a widespread among young people in India, especially women. The inadvertent use of topical corticosteroids for various common dermatological conditions is associated with significant adverse effects
Aim: To assess the steroid abuse for various common dermatological conditions and its adverse effects.
Materials & Methods: Sixty patients who attended OPD dermatology were taken in to study. A detailed clinical history with regard to age, gender, education status, duration and frequency of use of topical steroids, type and formulation of the drug (lotion, cream, ointment), cause for using the drug and the source of the drug (by dermatologist, doctor- physician/Ayurvedic/homeopathic, over the counter (OTC) were taken. Results: Majority of patients were between the age group of 15-30 years and females were in predominance. The common indications were facial pigmentation, dermatophytosis and acne. The source of drug were mostly from pharmacist, friends and family members. Most commonly used steroid were betamethasone valerate, clobetasol propionate and mometasone furoate. The common side effects observed were acneiform eruptions, tinea incognito, and erythema with telangiectasia, cutaneous atrophy and striae.
Conclusion: Topical steroids should be used cautiously and judiciously. Awareness should be given regarding the indications and its consequences. Avoidance of self-medication by over the counter purchase should be stressed upon. While treating children extreme care should be given regarding the selection of potency of topical steroids.
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