Patients with a history of long-term topical corticosteroid (TCS) overuse may experience topical steroid withdrawal (TSW) symptoms on stopping topical corticosteroids, reports a new study published in the journal Dermatitis.
Topical steroids are the most commonly prescribed topical medications for the treatment of rash, eczema, and dermatitis. Topical steroids have anti-inflammatory properties and are classified based on their skin vasoconstrictive abilities.
Sheary B and his associates conducted a retrospective cohort study to examine the demographics and outcomes in adult patients who believe they are experiencing TSW following discontinuation of chronic TCS overuse. Women represented 56% of the 55 patients included in the study aged 20 to 66 years. Seventy-six percent had an original diagnosis of atopic dermatitis. Sixty percent had used potent TCSs on the face, and 42% had a history of oral corticosteroid use for skin symptoms.
Key study findings:
- Burning pain was reported in 65% of study participants.
- All had widespread areas of red skin and so-called “elephant wrinkles,” “red sleeve,” and the “headlight sign” were seen in 56%, 40%, and 29%, respectively.
The author suggested diagnostic criteria, reflecting the histories and examination findings of the patients studied and warrants further research is needed to develop guidelines for withdrawal prevention and management.
In a similar study published earlier in Speciality Medical Dialogues, has stated that extended corticosteroid use can significantly increase the incidence of adverse events compared with intermittent use.
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