Can Skin Become Addicted To Topical Steroids?

Can Skin Become Addicted To Topical Steroids?

There is the potential that industry sponsorship favours publishing of positive results rather than negative findings. For this review most comparisons contained fewer than ten studies and the authors say they were not able to statistically test for this bias. Trials concerning these three outcomes were rated as moderate or high quality, most lasted less than six months, and around half were carried out or sponsored by the manufacturer of the study medication.

See below for the quantities that should be sufficient for two weeks treatment of once daily application. The aim of the page is to explain how to use the cream, how long to continue the treatment and any benefits and risks involved. Through our work, we help people whose lives are affected by psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, providing information and raising awareness. We are the leading national charity and membership organisation for people affected by psoriasis in the UK.

Are there any risks to my baby if the father has used topical corticosteroids?

No studies have accurately investigated outcomes in pregnant women only using potent topical corticosteroids. If you are using a ‘high strength’ corticosteroid, as a precaution, your doctor may advise that you try one with a lower potency during pregnancy. Product information for topical corticosteroids is being updated to include safety warnings on withdrawal reactions.

  • In children and teenagers, steroids can sometimes cause growth to slow down, so they’ll need to have their height checked regularly.
  • The fingertip unit method (FTU) gives a general estimate of how much should be used.
  • Wash your hands before and after you’ve applied the medicine, unless you are treating an area on your hands.
  • Alternatively, there is a non-live shingles vaccine (Shingrix) that you may be able to have instead.
  • The decision to start, stop, continue or change a prescribed medicine before or during pregnancy should be made in consultation with your health care provider.
  • As part of routine antenatal care, most women will be offered a very detailed scan at around 20 weeks of pregnancy to check the baby’s development.

Most people who are prescribed topical corticosteroids will also be prescribed an emollient (moisturiser). You can use both treatments at the same time of day, but should wait twenty to thirty minutes between the two treatments to avoid diluting the topical steroid and reducing its effectiveness. This can even result in the corticosteroid being absorbed into your bloodstream and cause internal side effects, particularly in young children. Topical steroid creams are anti-inflammatory medicines which means they reduce redness and inflammation caused by eczema and other skin conditions.

Are there any reasons why I won’t be prescribed steroids?

Topical steroids can also be used to treat psoriasis in sensitive areas such as the face, genitals and skin folds. Less potent steroids (such as mild or moderately potent) are usually used in the sensitive areas, and for a shorter length of time (ie. two weeks rather than four). Topical steroids may be used separately, or in combination with topical vitamin D treatments. It can be used for a long time without causing problems as a rule, even when put onto delicate skin of the face.

What corticosteroids are used for

TCS may worsen some non-infectious skin diseases such as acne, rosacea or perioral dermatitis. Dan is an experienced pharmacist having spent time working in both primary and secondary care. He currently supports our clinical team by providing robust clinical governance review of our internal processes and information. Here at The Independent Pharmacy, we offer a great range of dermatitis treatments.


It’s as simple as starting a free online consultation with us today and getting your eczema medication delivered tomorrow. However, they can be extremely successful in helping to relieve symptoms like itching, irritation and skin flare-ups. If you have been using hydrocortisone for a long time, your doctor may tell you to gradually reduce the amount you use before stopping completely. Using hydrocortisone for a long time without stopping can mean some of the medicine gets into your blood.

When used correctly, topical corticosteroids are a safe and effective treatment for conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. However, a withdrawal reaction following long term use of these products can lead to skin redness and a burning sensation worse than the original skin condition. These reactions can be hard to distinguish from the original skin condition.

You might also be given a drug called a proton pump inhibitor or another medicine to protect your stomach. They’re also known as corticosteroids, and are different to anabolic steroids used by bodybuilders and athletes. The fingertip unit method (FTU) gives a general estimate of how much should be used.