Topical steroids - fairness fervour to fallout


  • Ashok S. Hogade Department of Dermatology, MRMC Gulbarga, Karnataka
  • Ismat Fatima Department of Dermatology, MRMC Gulbarga, Karnataka



Topical corticosteroids, Fairness creams, Steroidal dermatitis, Adverse effects, Misuse


Background: Topical Steroids (TS) are one of the most widely used therapeutic formulations in practice. Treatment was revolutionized with the advent of these anti-inflammatory corticosteroids .They provide rapid symptomatic relief in almost all inflammatory dermatoses , in short term. In India topical steroids are marketed by many pharmaceutical companies and few of these formulations are available at every medical store even without a prescription.

Methods: Patients with relevant facial dermatoses (clinical features suggestive of TS abuse) with history of current TS inappropriate use were included. Diagnosis was established on clinical basis and consent was sought. Proper skin examination was performed to detect the condition related to abuse of TS.

Results: Out of 100 patients studied 54 were females and 46 males. Majority were of 15-35 years age group and unmarried. 72% patients belonged to lower and 25% to middle socioeconomic class. Majority of the patients were students (42%) followed by household workers (38%).

Conclusions: Unnecessary cosmetic use of TCs with or without fairness creams is quite common in facial dermatoses resulting in steroidal dermatitis resembling rosacea. Topical steroid misuse is increasing because of easy availability, Lack of awareness, Obsession for fair skin.

Author Biographies

Ashok S. Hogade, Department of Dermatology, MRMC Gulbarga, Karnataka


Ismat Fatima, Department of Dermatology, MRMC Gulbarga, Karnataka

Dept of dermatology and venerology and leprosy 

Post graduate


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Original Research Articles