‘Use Topical Steroids with caution’

Central Chronicle News
Raipur, Aug 07: A study by All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Raipur found that around 80% patients are misusing steroid creams in fungal infections, and pimples. It is resulting in serious skin infections including red skin with burning, painful pus-filled lesions, increased skin infections, thinned out and pale skin of the face with abnormal growth of hair. Dermatologists advised all the patients to use them with caution and only under the proper supervision of experts.
Dermatology department of AIIMS has conducted a study to assess the knowledge, attitude, and practice regarding topical corticosteroids in 350 patients. It is found that around 80% of patients were misusing steroid creams for fungal infection, and pimples. It is an interesting study observation since in both these conditions, steroid creams can worsen the disease, therefore its use is contraindicated.
In around 40% of patients including those with fungal infection and pimples, steroid creams were prescribed by physicians including ayurvedic and allopathic practitioners. Around 55% of patients were using steroid creams without any prescription, that is, on the advice of pharmacists, friends, and family. Only 5% patients contacted dermatologists before using steroid creams. This is the first study in this regard from Chhattisgarh and has recently been published in one of the renowned Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology. It was conducted by Dr. Namrata Chhabra. It included 197 male and 153 female patients. 47% of them were from the 25 to 45 age group and 40% of them have less than 25 years of age. 31 % of them were students.
According to Dr. Chhabra ‘Topical steroids are one of the commonly used drugs in skin diseases like psoriasis, eczema, vitiligo, etc. However, these creams are frequently misused by patients due to a lack of information and self-abuse. The problem of self-abuse is primarily attributed to easy and cheap, over-the-counter availability of steroid creams at a cheap price, she said.
The study shows that by the time, these patients reach dermatologists, their skin condition has either worsened or irreversibly damaged. The common pointers of steroid-induced skin damage are red skin with burning, painful pus-filled lesions, increased skin infections, thinned out, and pale skin of the face with abnormal growth of hair. Approximately, 60% of patients using steroid creams in the study from AIIMS were having these side effects.
‘Steroids have a unique action on the skin, where it instantly reduces all the troubling symptoms, and the skin appears almost cured for some time. This effect usually misguides the patient. However, slowly, it reduces skin immunity and creates a favorable environment for the growth of harmful fungus and bacteria, Dr. Chhabra said.
Prof. (Dr.) Nitin M. Nagarkar, Director, AIIMS said that the patient should check the ingredients of any medicated skin cream for steroids like clobetasol, betamethasone before applying it for fungal infection and over face for pimples or fairness.
In case, the patient has developed any side effect of steroid cream, it is better to visit a dermatologist, as sudden stoppage of steroids may cause a flare-up of skin lesions.

Related Articles

Back to top button