Authors: Jarische Frances S. Lao, MD, Emmerson G. Vista, MD, FPDS


Introduction: Self-medication is a common practice in developing countries like the Philippines but often underreported. In particular, there are limited studies regarding the practice of topical self-medication in the Filipino local community. Hence, there is a need to determine the prevalence rate of these practices in order to design strategies to minimize such practices.

Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the practice of topical self-medication among patients seen at the Dermatology Outpatient clinic of a selected tertiary hospital.

Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive questionnaire-based study was used to determine the prevalence of topical self-medication. It was conducted among Filipino dermatologic patients seen at the Dermatology Outpatient clinic of a selected tertiary hospital from March 2018 to August 2018. The proportion of participants practicing topical self-medication was computed.

Results: Topical self-medication was prevalent in 64% of the participants. Mean age was 45.5±17.8 years with female predominance with education level below college. Most common reasons for topical self-medication include perception of mildness of condition (22%) and easy availability of products (20%). The most commonly used drugs for self-medication were combination topicals (31%), followed by efficascent creams (26%). These topicals were mostly recommended by family and friends (58%) followed by influence from social media advertisement (24%). Adverse events with the topical agents were reported by 14% of the participants who practiced self-medication.

Conclusion: Prevalence of self-medication with topical agents is high. Proper health education and awareness of the community are important to lessen the harm of this practice.





self-medication; topical agents; Dermatology



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