Steroid Abuse

When we face skin irritation or inflammation we all look for quick fix solution that is easily available from chemist shop. But we forget that medicines if not used correctly and under correct supervision can do more harm than benefit. Steroids are one of the examples of the same. These are the medications that are our go to option when we are facing any skin irritation or inflammation that we can apply directly to our skin and get a quick relief. But its abuse is on the rise these days. As a patient we need to understand that steroids are the topical medications that should never be applied without the supervision of the dermatologist.
The potency of these steroids varies from mild to high. These are available under different brand names and different formulations. A few of them are available over the counter also at a lot of pharmacies which is been the reason of its increasing misuse.

Dermatologist is the right person to recommend the correct steroid, it application and safe time period of use. As if not used correctly, it can lead to worsening side effects of steroids on the skin. Here are few of them that you should be aware of :

  1. Skin infection that is persistent can further worsen up
  2. Folliculitis can happen which basically means that hair follicles present in skin layers can get inflamed.
  3. Folliculitis can happen which basically means that hair follicles present in skin layers can get inflamed.    
  4. Topical corticosteroid can cause mild skin allergies on its application which is generally termed as contact dermatitis.
  5. Excess application of steroids can lead to worsening of acne also.
  6. Red and flushed skin is also one of the outcomes of prolonged application of steroids of high potency also. This is termed as flare up of rosacea.   
  7. A few people may also experience changing of skin color due to improper steroid application. Where skin becomes uneven, or dark patches appear on the areas where steroids are been applied. 

Done Is More Likely To Have The Side Effects If :

  1. Using steroids for more than prescribed time period.
  2. Using highly potent steroid than prescribed by dermatologist.
  3. Elderly have been predominantly affected by the side effects of steroids as compared to young due to aged skin.
Preventing Side Effects of Topical Steroids
  1. Always seek expert advice, consult your dermatologist on the appropriate steroid and its strength.
  2. Always get detailed instructions on frequency i.e; how many times it has to be applied in a day and duration i.e; for how long does it has to be applied.
  3. Never start or stop using steroid abruptly if the condition starts improving. Consult your dermatologist.
  4. Always read the labels, look for precautions and side effects of one medicine before applying.
On the whole, it is necessary to pay attention to where and how of the topical steroid i.e; where it is being applied and how frequently it is being applied. Careful application can reduce side effects. Always consult your dermatologist.