Dermatosis is a condition wherein the outer layer of the body, namely the skin (dermis) or hair, nail, etc has an irritation or an anomaly. Dermatoses involve condition of the skin that does not involve inflammation. In cases of inflammation, they are termed dermatitis. Corticosteroids are usually used to treat inflammation, but it is observed that corticosteroids sometimes also helped alleviate dermatoses. Dermatoses can be categorized as a cutaneous condition with following types of disorders: rheumatoid neutrophilic dermatoses, acute febrile neutrophilic dermatoses, dermatoses papulosa nigra, dermatoses neglecta, dermatoses cinecienta, linear lichenoid dermatoses, digitate dermatoses, contagious pustular dermatoses, transient acantholytic dermatoses, juvenile plantar dermatoses, etc to name a few. Corticosteroids, besides their inflammation control action are useful in treating disorders that are caused by hyperactivity of the immune response. They were first discovered in the adrenal cortex region of mammals; nowadays, they are synthetically designed variants of steroid hormones and are used to regulate immune response, stress and inflammation along with control of carbohydrate metabolism, blood electrolyte levels, and protein catabolism. Corticoids are of generally two types:
- Glucose based, hence named glucocorticoids, which regulate glucose/ carbohydrates/fats/proteins and thereby assist in controlling inflammation. E.g Cortisol
- Mineral based, hence named mineralocorticoids, which regulate/control water level in the body buy controlling sodium retention. E.g aldosterone, corticosterone, etc
Corticosteroids’ use is accompanied by side effects, particularly allergic responses in some severe cases reported. This is why generally corticosteroids aren’t used to treat dermatoses, but some conditions like non-infectious dermatoses, etc, it has been found to be extremely useful. Clobetasol Propionate is one such example which has been prescribed to control inflammatory responses in common dermatoses as a topical medical aid. It showed 99% success rate in treating cases of psoriasis and other corticosteroid-responsive dermatoses.
Corticosteroids are to be used as a topical ointment only in skin regions with inflammation, the concentration of Corticosteroids are the main factors that inhibit inflammation, however too high concentrations can leave the skin vulnerable to infections from Staph and Streptococcus bacteria that are present in the normal skin flora and may lead to necrosis. Corticosteroids have been known to be a significant causative agent of allergies; this is owed due to the improper usage of ointment and self medication procedures. They are particularly dangerous if mistakenly applied to the eyes and hence notified as a caution on their labels. Pregnant women and children under 6 are also advised against its use.
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Corticosteroids have the highest market in the developed nations of North America and Europe, together with nearly 2/3rd of the world’s total demand. This was followed by the Asia-Pacific region and rest of the world. Growth is expected in the Asia-Pacific region with research and development done specifically for the indigenous populations of these regions as the global products are generally tested for Caucasian races. The skin condition of Asian populace is different hence change in combinations may be necessary. However the Asian markets are expected to grow larger than the North American market as they have the advantage of higher population.
Some of the major players in the Corticosteroid-responsive Dermatoses market include: Pfizer Inc., GlaxoSmithKline plc, Novartis International AG, Medcis, Merck, Nycomed US Inc, among others.
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