New Delhi: The Indian Health Ministry has expressed concerns about over-the-counter unregulated sale of steroid-laced fairness creams in India.

Most fairness creams in India are laced with steroids, and Health Ministry plans to check the unregulated sale of these fairness creams that are widely sold all across India. According to the Daily Mail, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) is mulling over a proposal from skin-specialists in the country to check the easily-available sale of fairness creams containing corticosteroids.

Corticosteroids are involved in a wide range of physiological processes, including stress response, immune response, and regulation of inflammation, carbohydrate metabolism, protein catabolism, blood electrolyte levels, and behavior.

A group of Indian Association of Dermatologists, Venereologists and Leprologists have signed a petition addressed to the Union Health Ministry demanding a ban on the sale of creams containing corticosteroids in India.

“Applying steroids on skin can induce Rosacea (facial redness) and can also cause permanent thinning of skin, hypo pigmentation, hirsuitism (hair growth), make the skin look transparent and thereby making the blood vessels more visible. Also, it can lead to diabetes over prolonged periods of time too,” Dr Deepali Bhardwaj, a dermatologist, said.

Due to the Indian market being a thriving hotspot for products relating to fairness, an ample amount of fairness creams are pushed into the market without studying the adverse effects of ingredients inside the cream.

Fairness creams advertisement in India are known for presenting unrealistic expectation to its audience and the celebrities endorsing these fairness creams have been criticised widely all across the country.  

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