Observational cross-sectional study to evaluate the effects of self-medication with topical agents used by patients for superficial fungal skin infection at tertiary care hospital in Mumbai

Sunanda A. Mahajan, Surbhi S. Deshmukh, Jatin R. Rawal


Background: Superficial fungal infections of the hair, skin, and nails are a major cause of morbidity in the world and their incidence continues to increase. While self-medication is also one of the major health concerns for health authorities worldwide. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effects of topical agents used by patients for self-medication, to enlisting the topical agents used by patients for self-medication, to ensure by whose suggestion’s patients engaged in self-medication.

Methods: It was an observational cross-sectional study which was conducted at the outpatient department (OPD) of dermatology in tertiary care hospital. A detailed history of the participant was recorded regarding topical agents used for self-medication and their effects were documented in a predesigned case record form.

Results: The population consisted of 128 males and 87 females. All these 215 participants had used 61 topical agents of different brand names and the majority of were irritant, corticosteroids and antifungal much high in use. Among 215 participants, 111 had temporary relief from the infection and reoccurred after stopping its use. 98 showed aggravation in their infection among which 90 showed effects like irritation, burning and itching at the application site, while 8 participants showed dryness or flaking of skin.

Conclusions: Self-medication is widely practiced among patients with a superficial fungal skin infection in Mumbai. A pharmacist was the major source for obtaining these topical agents. We can conclude, there is a need to counsel and discourage patients from self-medication and regulations for dispensing the prescribed drugs should be made stringent.


Fixed dose combinations, Irritant, Steroids, Self-medication, Superficial fungal infection

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