DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18203/issn.2455-4529.IntJResDermatol20181815

Prevalence and patterns of self-medication for skin diseases among medical undergraduate students

Purna Pandya, Ishan Pandya

Abstract


Background: Medical students are more prone to self-medication because of background knowledge and easy availability of medication. Dermatological disorders are affecting quality of life in adolescent and can motivate self-medication behaviour. The objective of the study was to study the prevalence and patterns of self-medication for skin conditions in among medical students.

Methods: A cross-sectional questionnaire based study was carried out in medical students in western India. A self-administered questionnaire included information on socio-demographic details, general aspects of self-medication behaviour like used for which disease, drugs used, source of knowledge, reason for use etc. and analyzed.

Results: Self-medication was prevalent in 90.09% participants for skin conditions. Mean age of participants was 20.35±1.23 years with male predominance. Most common skin conditions/symptoms for self-medication were acne (82.46%), sun tan (52.11%) followed by superficial fungal infections while common hair conditions were hair fall (80.10%) and dandruff (57.07%). The most commonly used drugs for self-medication were topical antifungal drugs (96.07%), sunscreen lotions (91.10%) and topical antimicrobials (80.10%). Most common source of information for self-medication was medical staff and seniors (92.67%) followed by internet (81.15%). Most common reasons for favoring self-medication were perceived the illness as minor/non-serious (62.83%) and time constraint (26.70%). 3.14% participants reported to have some adverse events with the drugs used by self-medication.

Conclusions: Prevalence of self-medication for dermatological disorders was alarming high. Self-medication practices are highest for acne, superficial fungal infections, hair fall and dandruff. Proper training of medical undergraduates in diagnosis and treatment of dermatological problems with special emphasis on drug usage aspects are needed.


Keywords


Self-medication, Medical undergraduate students, Dermatological disorders, Prevalence and patterns of self-medication

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