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Zuheeb Ahmed
Marvi Metlo
Sajid Ali
Shahzad Ali Mughal
Saima Samtio
Saiqua Lashari
Amerdeep Lohana


Self-medication, Public education, Topical corticosteroids


Background: Although dermatology patients frequently self-medicate in clinical settings, there are little studies on this topic. This research was done to determine how frequently topical corticosteroids are misused and what kinds of common issues arise from such usage.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on two days each week from December 2022 to May 2023 at renowned cosmetic shops and randomly selected pharmacies in District Naushero Feroze, Sindh, Pakistan. Direct interviews with participants were conducted through a questionnaire.

Results: The sample size for this study was 277 (27.7%) of the participants interviewed from various cities of district naushero feroze during the study period. The majority of participants bought betamethasone valerate 55 (19.1%) and combination creams 66 (23.8%). Among the participants who used the topical steroids for skin whitening and acne vulgaris, 52 (18.7% and 83 (29.9%) said they were using them for whitening skin and acne, respectively. Most of participants felt itching and skin irritation (68, 25.5%), as well as redness and dryness (49, 17.6%) as side effects.

Conclusions: The best and safest use of topical steroid requires stringent oversight by relevant agencies, public education, pharmacist education, and general practitioner education.

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