Vol. 5, Issue 2

Adverse effects of steroid use in dermatophytic infections: a cross sectional study

Som Jitendra Lakhani*, Freny Bilimoria, Jitendra D. Lakhani

1Assistant Professor, 2Professor and Head; Department of Dermatology, SBKS Medical Institute & Research Centre, Sumandeep Vidyapeeth, Piparia, Waghodia, Vadodara, Gujarat, India

3Professor and Academic Director, SBKS Medical Institute & Research Centre, Sumandeep Vidyapeeth, Piparia, Waghodia, Vadodara, Gujarat, India

Background: Dermatophytosis is a type of superficial fungal infection which is a cause of significant morbidity especially in the Indian subcontinent. One of the major causes of the rising trend in the incidence of dermatophytosis is the unwarranted use of steroids in the management of fungal infection.

Methods: A cross sectional study of dermatophytic fungal infections was carried out with research question of ‘Is steroid formulation abused in dermatophytic infections? What are their effects and side effects?’All patients of dermatophytic infection were primarily selected over period of six months of which patients who had history or findings of some form of steroid use were further analyzed. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected in regards to steroid formulations about type, duration of use, route of administration and their availability by prescription or “over the counter”. Dermatological signs of steroid use were noted.

Results: Of total 180 patients of dermatophytosis, 72 patients (40%) had used steroid formulations either topical (52), intralesional (9) or injectable (11) and 102 did not. Most patients (50 of 72) (69%) were from rural background and had long mean duration of illness (24 ± 3 weeks). Multiple site infection of dermatophytosis was present in 60 of 72 (83%) and in 51of 108 (47.22%) in steroid misuse and in non-steroid use patient group respectively. Cutaneous adverse effects were common in steroid modified dermatophysis patients. Unauthorized use of steroid was in form of self application, over the counter availability, use of steroid preparation of relatives and others.

Conclusions: Misuse of steroid formulations in dermatophytic infections may lead to adverse effect as well as chronicity. Awareness of this problem is needed for prevention of steroid modified dermatophytosis, which is a rising menace.

Key words: Steroids, Dermatophytic infections, rational use