Beware! Skin creams contains harmful Steroids; It's use out of control in India
Corticosteroids have number of side effects including pigmentation and breakdown of the skin, small and widened blood vessels on the skin, as well as bacterial and fungal infections. In addition, its misuse can lead to resistance of infections that can make these difficult to diagnose and treat.

Indian Skin Creams contain steroids and its use is ‘out of control’ in India, warns an Indian expert. According to researchers, steroid named Corticosteroid is finding heavy usage in skin creams due to its anti-inflammatory property, However, its excess use can cause permanent damage to the skin, especially where the skin is very thin like in face and groin.

Shyam B Verma, a consultant dermatologist based in Gujarat, said that Corticosteroids have number of side effects including pigmentation and breakdown of the skin, small and widened blood vessels on the skin, as well as bacterial and fungal infections. In addition, its misuse can lead to resistance of infections that can make these difficult to diagnose and treat. Commenting on the current scenario, Verma said that people in huge numbers are coming to Indian doctors for the adverse effect induced by topical corticosteroids

For the study, researchers observed 2,926 dermatology patients in 2013. It was found that of 2,926 participants, 433 patients were using topical steroid and nearly 90 percent (392) patients showed signs of adverse effects due to steroids used in skin creams.

Verma explained that the poor Indian Law has led to the current scenario that says steroids should be sold only with a registered medical practitioner’s prescription, but topical steroids do not come under such law and it can be sold and purchased over the counter without any registers medical practitioner’s prescription. Another reason for the worsening condition is the lack of specialist dermatologists in India. Most of dermatologist (nearly 8,500) are based in cities while the majority of Indian population lives in the village where the scarcity of dermatologist is the most. Hence, villagers are least cared and risk of incurable diseases due to topical steroids is the most.

Public awareness is the most prominent solution to the problem also it most urgent and government, doctors and concerned authorities should take the initiative to educate the people regarding harmful effects of steroid-containing skin creams.

The was published in the journal BMJ.

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