Steroid creams reduce immunity of skin patch, aggravate infectious fungal diseases, finds study


Doctors of the Indian Association of Dermatologists, Venereologists, and Leprologists found out chronic cases of fungal infections as high as 95%, 60% of which are recurrent cases, during a recent checkup of over 3,00,000 people across the country. The doctors say that most of the cases were aggravated due to steroid based creams, which include fairness creams as well.

“Steroid based creams may not necessarily cause infections, but they reduce the local immunity of the skin patch where they are applied. This lower immunity then leads to an increased growth of fungus, which is difficult to control. Even if right medicines are applied, the local immunity once gone down, can take anywhere between six months to long to get normal,” said Dr Mukesh Girdhar, National Vice-President, IADVL.

During a recent journey across 18 states in the country covering 54 towns/villages, reaching 3,00,000 people for skin problem awareness, the doctors found out that the 70% of the family members of those who suffered from fungal infections were affected, and more than 80% of the child cases had an affected adult in the family. Of all the infections, 60-70% had used steroid creams for fungal infections which reversed their case.

“Schedule-H drugs are prescribed by unqualified people, mostly quacks, which lead to the severity of skin problems. But unfortunately, there are several constraints like connectivity issues, shortage of doctors in rural areas, etc, that leads to the prevalence of quackery in our country. Doctors without the required professional qualification and degree not only cannot address the medical issue but also makes the condition of the patient worst,” said Dr Girdhar.