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Easy access to steroid creams leading to abuse, doctors warn

Source: Bangkok Post
            2 Mar 12
           
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Dermatologists have warned that overuse of steroid cream products can be hazardous to health.

The warning was issued yesterday at a forum on the health impact of beauty products.

Dr. Chuchai Tanglertsampan, a Public Relations Sub-committe of the Dermatological Society of Thailand (DST), said consumers have easy access to anti-inflammatory products available over the counter and via direct sales.

He said people bought steroid creams for as little as 50 Baht without medical prescriptions for facial and skin treatments and overused them until they suffered side-effects.

Many people with side-effects do not see doctors in the early stages and wait until their symptoms become serious, he said.

Side-effects include severe rashes, pimples, sunlight allergy, purpura and lip inflammation, which can be very hard to cure. Some people can become addicted to steroids.

"The number of patients with side-effects of steroid overuse has been increasing in recent years as direct sales of these products grow," he said.

He said he saw 3-6 new patients with these symptoms every week.

Dr. Chuchai said the legitimacy of product distribution over the counter made it difficult for dermatologists and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials to control their use.

Hundreds of brands are available in the corticosteroid cream, steroid cream and anti-inflammatory categories, so consumers should be more careful of the consequences of using these products, he said.

Dr. Chuchai Tanglertsampan
Public Relations Sub-committe
Dermatological Society of Thailand

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