Can topical corticosteroids cause side effects?

Topical corticosteroids can have side effects. The side effects of chronic topical steroid use include things such as skin atrophy, acne-like eruptions, and addiction. Long term use near the eyes has also been associated with glaucoma and cataracts. Very high potency topical steroids can also cause internal side effects, like those if you are taking steroids by mouth. These effects are more pronounced if used on thinner,  broken-down skin, or in children. Use of topical steroids around skin folds enhances the effect and can cause atrophy of the skin quite quickly and should not be used there unless otherwise directed. Breaks between applications of topical steroids decrease these effects. A rule of thumb is no more than 2-3 weeks of use without a break.

Continue Learning about Corticosteroid

Should I let my doctor know I am using topical corticosteroids?
Stacy Wiegman, PharmDStacy Wiegman, PharmD
If you are planning on using topical corticosteroids, talk to your doctor. Always let your doctor kn...
More Answers
How do topical corticosteroids interact with other medications?
Donna Hill Howes, RNDonna Hill Howes, RN
People with psoriasis should not take corticosteroids in pill form. Stopping the treatment can cause...
More Answers
How are corticosteroids used to treat rheumatoid arthritis?
Corticosteroids, often just called steroids, provide quick relief from pain and inflammation. They m...
More Answers
What is Nasacort Allergy 24HR?
Stacy Wiegman, PharmDStacy Wiegman, PharmD
Triamcinolone is the active ingredient in Nasacort Allergy 24HR. Nasacort Allergy 24HR is an over-th...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.