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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 13-17

Use of over-the-counter topical medications in dermatophytosis: A cross-sectional, single-center, pilot study from a tertiary care hospital

Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprosy, Command Hospital Air Force, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Manasa Shettisara Janney
Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprosy, Command Hospital Air Force, Old Airport Road, Bengaluru - 560 007, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijdd.ijdd_5_18

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Background: Dermatophytosis is a common, superficial fungal infection of the skin. In developing countries like India, casual attitude toward seeking medical attention and lax drug control policies lead to indiscriminate use of irrational over-the-counter (OTC) medications. Studies on OTC topical medication abuse in dermatophytosis are lacking despite its frequent occurrence. Aims: To assess the magnitude of OTC topical medication use in dermatophytosis by studying the demographic variables, source of prescription, and their adverse effects. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional, observational, questionnaire-based pilot study was carried out in a tertiary care center. One hundred consecutive, mycologically confirmed dermatophytosis patients were questioned about the use of OTC medications and examined for adverse effects of the preparations used. Results were documented in a predesigned pro forma and the data were expressed in terms of means and proportions. Results: The study population consisted of 75 males and 25 females. Tinea cruris was the most common pattern observed. Only 32% of the patients consulted a dermatologist on developing a rash, whereas the majority (68%) used medicines suggested by others. Clobetasol-based preparations were commonly misused, and 63.23% of the study population experienced adverse effects. Furthermore, majority (89%) of the study population were unaware of steroids and their adverse effects. Conclusions: The growing threat of OTC drug abuse in India is evident from this study. Stringent drug control policies and awareness of adverse effects of OTC topical medication abuse are truly the need of the hour to control this menace.

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