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IP Indian Journal of Clinical and Experimental Dermatology

Topical corticosteroid abuse over face: A clinical study

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Research Article

Author Details : Mukunda Ranga Swaroop*, Suman Swamynathan, Mithila Ravindranath, Yogesh Devaraj, Mouryabha Shale K S

Volume : 5, Issue : 4, Year : 2019

Article Page : 299-305

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Introduction: Topical corticosteroids are extensively used in modern dermatological practice for their
therapeutic effects. Incorrect and inappropriate use causes undesirable adverse effects especially the face.
Materials and Methods: A questionnaire based clinical study was conducted for 1 year among 100
patients presenting with chief complaints due to topical steroid abuse over face and data was analysed.
Results: Out of 100 patients, preponderance were seen in females (M :F= 1:2.5). Majority were from rural
areas (56%). The most common age group was 21-30yrs (35%). Students constituted 27%. Majority of
them (76%) used mid potent steroids. Although Betame thasone valerate 0.1% (32%) was commonest
topical preparation abused, most of the patients had adverse effects due to steroid with antibiotic and
antifungal combination. Most common indication for application was acne (35%). In majority of the
patients (46%), suggestion for application was given by friends. In 79% of patients, mode of purchase was
without prescription. Duration of usage was more than 1 year in 29% patients. Acneiform eruptions (19%)
followed by pigmentation (16%) were the most common adverse effects.
Discussion: Easy availability of these over-the-counter steroid preparations, rapidity of symptomatic relief
in various facial dermatoses and recurrence of symptoms on discontinuing these medications are the main
reasons for abuse. Patients are unaware of the risks posed by these products and continue to use them for
longer periods.
Conclusion: Topical corticosteroids abuse benefits manufacturers and vendors but ultimate victims are
heedless human race. A careful assessment and proper counseling of these patients and general physicians
against the use of these preparations over the face is the need of the hour.

Keywords: Steroid induced facies, Topical corticosteroid, Steroid abuse.

Doi : 10.18231/j.ijced.2019.063

How to cite : Swaroop M R, Swamynathan S , Ravindranath M, Devaraj Y, Mouryabha Shale K S, Topical corticosteroid abuse over face: A clinical study. IP Indian J Clin Exp Dermatol 2019;5(4):299-305

Copyright © 2019 by author(s) and IP Indian J Clin Exp Dermatol. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY-NC 4.0) (