The Indian Association of Dermatologists, Venereologists, and Leprologists (IADVL) has said that there has been an unusual increase in fungal infections among people over the last five-six years.

Addressing presspersons in Mangaluru on Monday, Ramesh Bhat M, president of IADVL, said the use of anti-fungal creams combined with high-potency steroids has led to the recurrent and resistant fungal infections.

Now 30-40 per cent of the patients with skin disorders in the outpatient departments of hospitals and private clinics have fungal infections. This was not the case earlier, he said. Fungal infections have been extensive, highly contagious and resistant to almost all varieties of treatment. These infections show poor response to standard therapy, he said.

Members of the IADVL Taskforce Against Topical Steroid Abuse (ITATSA) have approached the Drug Controller General of India several times on the misuse of high-potency steroid combination creams.

This and a public interest litigation (PIL) in Delhi High Court have resulted in adding certain anti-fungal creams combined with high-potency steroids under Schedule H by the government on November 1, he said. On the IADVL’s campaign to create awareness on skin diseases, he said the association flagged off a ‘skin safar rath’ from Delhi in December.

The vehicle, which has been travelling in various parts of the country, showcases documentaries on leprosy, vitiligo, skin hygiene, misuse of skin creams, fungal infections, and quackery.

He said the ‘skin safar rath’ will be in Udupi-Manipal on January 11 and in Mangaluru on January 12.

With more than 11,000 members IADVL is the largest official body of dermatologists in the country, he said.