Facial abuse of topical steroids and fairness creams: a clinical study of 200 patients

Samina Naz Chohan, Majid Suhail, Samia Salman, Umair Mansoor Bajwa, Mohummad Saeed, Samina Kausar, Taqdees Suhail


Objectives To estimate the magnitude of problem with reference to social demography, motivation and to record adverse effects of topical steroids (TCs) and fairness creams abuse on face. 


Methods This study was conducted at Dermatology Department of Nawaz Sharif Social Security Teaching Hospital affiliated with University of Lahore. Patients with steroidal rosacea reporting to the investigator were asked about their current use of topical steroids and fairness creams and observations recorded. 


Results Out of 200 patients studied 152 (76%) were females and 48 (24%) males, the majority belonging to low income group from urban area. Sixty six (33%) patients used potent TCs, 100 (50%) patients used TCs in combination with various fairness creams and 34 (17%) patients used fairness creams exclusively. The main indications for these creams, in order of preference were acne, improving dark complexion and melasma. Patients were ignorant of the ingredients and the adverse effects of TCs versus fairness creams among abusers were comparable.


Conclusions Unwarranted cosmetic use of TCs with or without fairness creams is quite common in facial dermatoses resulting in steroidal dermatitis resembling rosacea.



Topical corticosteroids, fairness creams, steroidal dermatitis resembling rosacea

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