Skin Deep - Clinical & Cosmetic Dermatology Blog

Skin Deep is a blog for dermatologists and skin care professionals with focus on theoretical, cosmetic and aesthetic dermatology. This blog is associated with ‘Dermatologists Sans Borders’ one of the largest curated groups of skin care professionals on facebook. If you are looking for non-technical information, please visit

Cosmetic Ingredients and Topical Steroid Abuse

This week I will be introducing few internet resources related to cosmetic ingredients and topical steroid abuse.

Image credit Cosmetic @ Wikipedia (Image altered and text added)

Links to all the resources are available below this post. As I have mentioned in my ten point rule, it is difficult to believe the information provided by cosmetic companies as validated research. Most cosmetic publications slump to marketing materials and most blogs in this domain are nothing but paid advertisements. Where can you find reliable scientific information on cosmetic ingredients and their potential good or bad effects?

I found John’s blog (1) on another platform while searching for skincare information. He has moved to his own blog afterwards called Triple Helixian (1). He has created evaluation rubrics for commonly used product categories such as sunscreens and cleansers and computes an ‘Alpha Score’ for products based on ingredients and packaging. This blog is an excellent resource for those looking for unbiased scientific information on cosmetic ingredients. John, if you see this, you are welcome to join our facebook group DsB and enlighten us with your knowledge through active discussions.

IADVL and many members of DsB are active proponents of the Anti-steroid abuse campaign. I am sure initiatives such as IADVL Task Force Against Topical Steroid Abuse (ITATSA) by Dr +KOUSHIK LAHIRI  would be helpful in educating patients on the perils of steroid abuse. Informed patients may be more capable of helping the campaign than journalists. Leslie is an atopic who was treated with topical and systemic steroids for symptomatic control, who later developed steroid dependence. He has started a blog called Say No To Topical Steroids (2) to raise awareness about topical steroid dependence and withdrawal symptoms. Though I doubt whether what he went through can be called a ‘steroid abuse’, It is an important eye-opener for all of us. Leslie has a huge collection of resources on topical steroid abuse. Best of luck with Leslie’s campaign though I do not endorse his tag line. I would prefer it to be ‘Say No To Topical Steroid Abuse’.

Weekly Roundup: Here is a study that demonstrates the efficacy of a vaccine suitable for use in trials against different EBV-positive cancers.(3) This study found a correlation between childhood eczema and concentrations of airborne mold in homes with water damage. (4) This may be a reason for the higher incidence of atopic dermatitis in the perpetually air-conditioned middle eastern households.

To all my friends practicing in Middle East: Do you think atopic dermatitis is more common there?

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About Me

As a Dermatologist and Informatician my research mainly involves application of bioinformatics techniques and tools in dermatological conditions. However my research interests are varied and I have publications in areas ranging from artificial intelligence, sequence analysis, systems biology, ontology development, microarray analysis, immunology, computational biology and clinical dermatology. I am also interested in eHealth, Health Informatics and Health Policy.


Bell Raj Eapen
Hamilton, ON