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An assessment of biophysical profile in Indian patients with topical steroid abuse : A case-control study
Dr. ShiviNijhawan ,Dr. PuneetBhargava ,Dr. ManishaNijhawan ,Dr. HeenaSingdia
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Abstract

Background: Despite being one of the most useful therapeutic agents for a dermatologist, the topical corticosteroids continue to be used inappropriately as “fairness or cosmetic” creams. Also, there is a major lack of adequate knowledge about the possible adverse effects and the phenomenon of steroid addiction among a great portion of the Indian population. The adverse effects are mainly attributed to the impact on the biophysical profile of the skin due to their prolonged use. TEWL, skin hydration and skin pH are most affected parameters. Objective:To study the biophysical profile of the patients of topical corticosteroid abuse, and compare the same with age and sex matched controls and study their clinical implications. Methods: A case control study was carried out at our tertiary center for a period of 6 months.160 cases of topical corticosteroid abuse and 160 age and sex matched controls were evaluated for TEWL, skin hydration and skin pH by using tewameter, corneometer and pH meter respectively. The findings were compared and p value was determined. Results:107 patients in the case group, showed abnormal TEWL, whereas in the control group, 11 patients showed abnormal TEWL values. Abnormal hydration of the stratum corneum was seen in 100 patients in the case group, whereas in the control group, 21 patients showed abnormal hydration of the skin. Abnormal pH was seen in 140 patients in the case group, whereas in the control group, 47 patients showed abnormal pH value. The p value was significant in all our findings (<0.05). Conclusions: Long term application of topical corticosteroids has significant effects on the biophysical parameters of skin such as TEWL, hydration and pH.

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