Topical Steroids

Topical steroids have no effect on acute vesicular reactions but are useful in other inflammatory skin reactions. They are useful in eczematous lesions. Topical steroids come in four potency levels for use on various levels of the skin. For example, very high potency steroids are best used on thick-skinned areas such as the palms and soles, while low-potency steroids should be used on the face, groin, and intertriginous areas. Once-a-day dosing is as effective as dosing two or three times a day, and occlusive dressings of plastic or a similar wrap will magnify the potency. Adverse effects include percutaneous absorption, skin atrophy, rebound papular dermatitis after use of medium high potency applications, and striae formation (26).

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