The Foods and Drugs Authority (FDA) has cautioned the public against the use of creams, ointments, lotions and other topical preparations containing steroid.
The general public is warned to desist from selling or buying such products from cosmetic shops, markets, hawkers, drug peddlers and from pharmacies without the required prescription from qualified medical personnel.
The FDA, in a statement signed by Hudu Mogtari, Chief Executive Officer, and copied to the Ghana News Agency, explained that any person or company found selling or buying those Prescription-Only-Medicines (POMs) without prescription would face stringent regulatory sanctions.
The statement said: “We further encourage the general public to provide information on persons engaged in any activities that are likely to endanger public health and safety with respect to FDA’s mandate”.
The steroid (Betamethasone, Clobetasol, Fluocinonide, Acetonide and Hydrocortisone) are used for skin lightening, as cosmetics and for other non-medical purposes.
The statement said such preparations including Betnovate, Dermovate, Tenovate, Lemonvate, Epiderm, and Dexacort had been registered by the FDA.
The FDA explained that such should be sold or bought only on prescription of a qualified medical doctor.
The FDA said frequent, indiscriminate and prolonged use of such corticorsteriod contained preparations were associated with risks such as thinning of the skin leading to difficulty in holding the skin during surgery.
It also makes the affected skin more prone to damage like bruising, development or worsening of acne and permanent stretch marks, hyper pigmentation, glaucoma and even cataracts upon prolonged application to the eyelids.
It further inhibits the skin’s ability to fight off bacterial or fungal infections, absorption into the blood stream and adversely affecting other parts of the body when applied widely on the skin.