This site is intended for healthcare professionals
Login | Register (NOW FREE)

Medical search

topical corticosteroids

FREE subscriptions for doctors and students... click here
You have 3 open access pages.

Topical corticosteroids revolutionised the management of inflammatory skin disease when they were introduced in the 1950's. They are used as first-line or adjunctive treatment in several inflammatory dermatoses (1) (particularly beneficial for eczema and psoriasis), and have a place in the treatment of other dermatoses e.g. alopecia areata, keloid scars and non-infected granulomas.

  • in addition to the anti inflammatory property, topical corticosteroids also exert their effect through vasoconstrictive, anti-proliferative and immunosuppressive properties (1)
  • because they are not targeting the disease process, generally only symptomatic relief is obtained
  • rebound exacerbation of the condition may occur on cessation of the corticosteroid agent (2)

They are not beneficial in urticaria or pruritus of unknown cause and they exacerbate rosacea, acne and ulceration (2). Systemic side effects may be serious.

Topical corticosteroids come in a variety of strengths. A good rule is to use the least potent drug at the lowest strength possible for a therapeutic effect.



The information provided herein should not be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical practitioner should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Copyright 2016 Oxbridge Solutions LtdĀ®. Any distribution or duplication of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited. Oxbridge Solutions LtdĀ® receives funding from advertising but maintains editorial independence. GPnotebook stores small data files on your computer called cookies so that we can recognise you and provide you with the best service. If you do not want to receive cookies please do not use GPnotebook.