Skin diseases: Avoid self-medication, advice experts

She used it for three months, but instead of improving, the patch turned into a wound

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Last Updated on January 2, 2023 by The Health Master

Lucknow: A 20-year-old girl, had a discolored patch of skin near her face about four months ago. She went to a medical store that sold a skin-lightening, steroid-based cream.

She used it for three months, but instead of improving, the patch turned into a wound. Finding no solution, she came to King George’s Medical University (KGMU) recently.

Her doctors were hardly able to diagnose that she had been suffering from leprosy.

“We had to send a sample for a biopsy that confirmed the disease,” said Dr. Parul Verma, faculty at the dermatology department at KGMU, while sharing her case at the continuing medical education (CME) program.

The CME titled “Basics of Dermatopathology” was organized by KGMU SIG Dermatopathology (IADVL-Academy) at Kalam Centre.

During the discussion, Verma explained: “She will now take months to reverse the damage caused by steroid cream.”

Her treatment would have been easier, had she not used steroids.”

She is not the only case, there are many people who take steroid-based creams for problems like fungal infection, psoriasis followed by itchy skin rash, and acne without any prescription from a medical practitioner said experts at the event.

They further said in KGMU out of 400 patients seen in OPD daily, 50% come after using creams indiscriminately and worsening their condition. Prof Swastika Suvirya, head of dermatology, at KGMU said:

“There might be some patients, who get relief for the moment, but in the long term, these drugs cause serious reactions and may cause allergies, ulcers, tumors, and infection. Instead of self-medicating, medicines should be taken after consulting a specialist, and patients must consult a doctor.”

Highlighting the role of pathology in treating skin diseases, the head of the pathology department at KGMU, Prof. US Singh, said: “Pathological assessment and biopsy help in treating skin conditions that are otherwise hard to diagnose with a naked eye inspection.” However, people should not be concerned about a skin biopsy.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Atin Singhai, the CME’s joint organizing secretary, stated, “Patients with psoriasis should try to calm their stress as it helps control the condition, which cannot be cured.”

Earlier, vice chancellor Lt Gen (retd) Bipin Puri declared, “Such events, which involve two departments sharing their knowledge and research, uplift the medical sciences.”

On this occasion, Dr. Meera Thomas, Dr. Manoj Jain, Dr. Niti, and Prof. Vinita Aggarwal also delivered talks on the identification and treatment of skin diseases.

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