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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 279-283

Prescription and usage pattern of topical corticosteroids among out-patient attendees with dermatophyte infections and its analysis: A cross-sectional, survey-based study

Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology, Smt. NHL Municipal Medical College, V.S. Hospital, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

Correspondence Address:
Santoshdev P Rathod
Smt. NHL Municipal Medical College, Room No. 9, Skin OPD, V.S. Hospital, Asharm Road, Ahmedabad - 380 006, Gujarat
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/idoj.IDOJ_335_18

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Background: There is scarce scientific data on topical corticosteroids (TCS) prescription by non-dermatologists including registered medical practitioners, ayurvedic, homeopathic practitioners, and over-the-counter (OTC) use of TCS-containing creams. Objective: The main objective of this study is to analyze the prescription and usage pattern of topical steroids among out-patient attendees with dermatophyte infection. To study health-seeking behavior of patients with dermatophyte infections. Material and Methods: An open, cross-sectional, duration-based study of 3 months. Inclusion criteria: Patients with dermatophytosis having a history of topical steroid application; either prescribed or purchased OTC and used themselves. Exclusion criteria: Patients who were not willing to give informed consent. Patient's data like socio-demographic profile, duration, frequency, site of application, contents of the topical cream used, prescriber information, and patients' desire to continue the use of topical steroids were recorded. Results: Total of 18.40% (n = 503) patients were already using cream-containing TCS at the time of presentation to the tertiary dermatology care center. The study shows that almost half of the patients (48.90%) were using unprescribed TCS. Registered medical practitioners were the most common source of TCS creams prescription (59.92%) in the prescribed group, while 26.07% patients were prescribed TCS by dermatologists. Clobetasol propionate (47.91%), was most common steroid agent used. Conclusion: Patients are able to get “prescription-only” drugs as OTC products. Such OTC use of TCS puts patients at risk of steroid modified dermatophytosis and topical steroid damaged skin. Even dermatologists may be culprit in creating menace of steroid abuse.

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