Skip to main content

Long-term continual use of topical steroids linked to skin withdrawal side effects

It is usually recommended that these should be tailed off gradually as advised by a doctor or nurse. Another option for scalp dermatitis is Elocon Scalp Lotion, which uses the equally potent steroid mometasone. Elocon moisturises the skin and slows the growth rate of skin cells (relieving psoriasis symptoms).

  • This is based on the whole area being treated therefore if only a proportion of the area is affected the number of FTU should be adjusted accordingly.
  • You might not be able to start steroids if you have an infection, or if you have any wounds on your body, as steroids might delay these getting better or cover up some of your symptoms.
  • This makes topical steroid creams one of the most effective ways to help treat and control the symptoms of eczema and other skin problems.
  • Women who have used a topical corticosteroid in early pregnancy will not usually need any extra monitoring.
  • If you’re worried about this, talk to the person who is prescribing your steroids about it.

Wash your hands before and after you’ve applied the medicine, unless you are treating an area on your hands. If you have indigestion or other stomach problems after starting steroids, then alcohol is likely to add to the problem, so you may want to cut back on how much alcohol you drink. If you normally wear contact lenses, you might need to avoid wearing these while having treatment with steroid eye drops. ‘Clearance’ and ‘response’ of scalp psoriasis was determined by the Investigators Global Assessment of Disease Severity (IGA) scale and the Patients Global Assessment of Disease Severity (PGA) scale.

Adult and young people

There are, however, some medicines that can harm a baby’s normal development. How a medicine affects a baby may depend on the stage of pregnancy when the medicine is taken. If you are on regular medication you should discuss these effects with your doctor/health care team before becoming pregnant.

  • For safety, tell your pharmacist or doctor if you’re trying to get pregnant, are already pregnant or if you’re breastfeeding.
  • Although small amounts of steroids could pass into breast milk, there’s no research that has shown that it’s harmful to your baby, so guidelines say that people can breastfeed while taking steroid tablets.
  • We should be cautious of taking these findings at face value as some trials were industry sponsored.
  • The person treating you might change the dose of your medications if needed.
  • Usually the treatment takes the form of eye drops (topical) prescribed by an ophthalmologist or a therapeutically qualified optometrist.

If the symptoms return, you should go back to using the cream daily for 2 weeks before reducing the usage again when your symptoms eases. Corticosteroids can decrease the effectiveness of medications used to treat diabetes. If you want to check that your medicines are safe to take with your medication, ask your Pharmacist or GP.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

As highlighted by the authors, the safety data on corticosteroids are reassuring, but relate only to short term use. Longer term studies reflecting real world use of potent/very potent steroids are required. The term ‘topical steroids’ refers to steroid medication that is put on the skin. Topical steroids are known as ‘corticosteroids’; an artificial version of hormones that are made inside the body.


The combination ointment costs almost £20 for 30g compared to a 30g tube of typical steroid ointment which costs about £4. The strength chosen is prescribed by doctors depending upon the individual and the extent and severity of their condition. Topical corticosteroid preparations buy bodybuilding steroids uk should be applied no more frequently than twice daily; once daily is often sufficient. No treatment is likely to reverse the changes of lichen sclerosus completely, but the symptoms and signs of the disease can usually be well controlled with the application of a steroid.

Your child’s doctor will monitor their height and weight carefully for as long as they’re using hydrocortisone. This will help them spot any slowing down of your child’s growth and change their treatment if needed. Using hydrocortisone for many months at a time can make your skin thinner or cause stretchmarks. Stretchmarks are likely to be permanent, but they usually fade over time.

For long-term skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis you may need to use treatments for longer. Most adults and children aged 10 years and over can use hydrocortisone skin treatments. The Yellow Card Scheme allows you to report suspected side effects from any type of medicine you’re taking.

Anticoagulant medicines

See your doctor or the person treating you straight away if you develop chickenpox, shingles or measles, or if you come into contact with someone who has any of these illnesses. Sometimes these diseases can be severe in people who are taking steroids, and you might need to have other treatment before you start to get better. These are more likely if you’re on a high dose or if you’re taking steroids for a long time.