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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 4-7

The unhealthy obsession with fairness and the menace of fairness creams in India

1 Department of Dermatology, KPC Medical College, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
2 Department of Dermatology, Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Arijit Coondoo
Department of Dermatology, KPC Medical College, Canvas, 46/2, Bosepukur Road, Kolkata 700042, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/Pigmentinternational.Pigmentinternational_

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Humanity has been obsessed with the partiality towards fair skin since time immemorial leading to unhealthy practices. The recent manifestation of this obsession is the huge number of fairness creams which has flooded the Indian cosmetic market. Some corticosteroid creams are also used as fairness creams because of the side-effect of hypopigmentation which is mistaken for fairness. Such misuse of topical corticosteroids leads to unwanted physical and psychological side-effects which have been collectively described as “Topical steroid dependent/damaged face” (TSDF). Concerted efforts by professional and social organizations [such as IADVL and Pigmentary Disorders Society (PDS)], politicians and media representatives, to fight this social menace of fairness craze and fairness creams have started yielding some positive results recently.

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