The definition of beauty has evolved over time and while times are changing now, the perfect skin seen on screens with glowing skin all the time became the major benchmark for females to feel beautiful. Our country has an industry thriving with the popularity of fairness creams in the skincare market and people tend to continue their usage based on the hype around them without really wondering about the mysterious veil over the contents of these creams. “Amid the absence of adequate awareness around the harmful effects of popular creams, most of these often continue to be produced as a vulnerable cocktail of steroids, hydroquinone, and tretinoin. The prolonged use of these leads to grave health concerns and damage the skin deeply and sometimes even irreversible,” says Dr Sravya Tipirneni, consultant dermatologist & cosmetologist, Columbia Asia Hospital Whitefield.

Some of the common side effects of creams that contain steroids can include:
· Acne or worsening of existing acne.

· Worsening of a pre-existing skin infection.

· Folliculitis – inflamed hair follicles.

· Thinning of the skin – this can make the affected skin more vulnerable to damage; for example, you may bruise more easily.

· Stretch marks – that can become permanent, although they’ll probably become less noticeable over time.

· Contact dermatitis – This is characterised by skin irritation caused by a mild allergic reaction to the substances in a particular topical corticosteroid.

· Rosacea, which is a condition that causes the face to become red and flushed.

· Changes in skin colour – this is usually more noticeable in people with dark skin.

· Excess amount of hair growth in the area of skin being treated.

The above mentioned side effects are more likely if you’re:

· Using a more potent corticosteroid (If potent or very potent topical corticosteroids are used for a long time or over a large area, there’s a risk of the medication being absorbed into the bloodstream and causing internal side effects as well)

· Using it for a very long time, or over a large area.

· The older generation and the very young ones are more vulnerable to side effects

Hence it is of utmost importance to not be careless with your most sensitive sense organ, your skin. Always consult certified dermatologists before exposing your skin to any products.