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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 436-440

Misuse of topical corticosteroids: A clinical study of adverse effects

Department of Dermatology, People's College of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Bhanpur, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Vivek Kumar Dey
Department of Dermatology, People's College of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Bhanpur, Bhopal - 462 037, Madhya Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2229-5178.142486

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Background: Misuse of topical corticosteroids is a widespread phenomenon among young people in India, especially women. The practice is associated with significant adverse effects and poor awareness of these effects among the general public. Aim: This study was conducted to examine the misuse and adverse effects of topical corticosteroids among the people in Bastar region in Chhattisgarh state of India. Materials and Methods: Data collected from patients presenting with at least one of the adverse effects of topical corticosteroids as the chief complaint, from November 2010 to October 2011. Results: Out of the 6723 new patients, 379 (5.63%) had presented with misuse and adverse effects of topical corticosteroids, of whom 78.89% were females. More than 65% of the patients were in the age group 10-29 years. The main reason for using the topical corticosteroids was to lighten skin colour and treat melasma and suntan. Acne (37.99%) and telangiectasia (18.99%) were the most common adverse effects noted. Conclusions: Misuse of topical corticosteroids has a huge impact on dermatological practice, leading to a significant proportion of visits to the dermatologist. This hydra-headed problem needs multi-dimensional interventions, involving educational, legal and managerial approaches with cooperation from different sectors of society.

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