Eyelid dermatitis to red face syndrome to cure: clinical experience in 100 cases

J Am Acad Dermatol. 1999 Sep;41(3 Pt 1):435-42. doi: 10.1016/s0190-9622(99)70118-0.


A retrospective review of all eyelid dermatitis patients seen over an 18-year period revealed a large subgroup of patients who had, as the basis for their ongoing problem, an addiction to the use of topical or systemic corticosteroids. This group of 100 patients often sought many consultations with various physicians. Unrelenting eyelid or facial dermatitis often resulted in the use of increasing amounts of corticosteroids for longer periods of time. Soon the skin became addicted. Once the work-up ruled out other causes, the remedy for the problem was absolute total cessation of corticosteroid usage. This article describes the typical history of the problem, the evaluation of these patients, and the distinctive pattern of flaring erythema that ensued when the corticosteroids were ceased. We stress the absolute necessity of total cessation of corticosteroid use as the only treatment for corticosteroid addiction. We also demonstrate that no additional therapy or further consultations were necessary once remission was obtained after topical corticosteroid abuse was halted.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / administration & dosage
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / adverse effects
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / diagnosis
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / etiology*
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / therapy
  • Dermatitis, Seborrheic / diagnosis
  • Dermatitis, Seborrheic / etiology*
  • Dermatitis, Seborrheic / therapy
  • Erythema / diagnosis
  • Erythema / etiology
  • Erythema / therapy
  • Eyelid Diseases / diagnosis
  • Eyelid Diseases / etiology*
  • Eyelid Diseases / therapy
  • Facial Dermatoses / diagnosis
  • Facial Dermatoses / etiology*
  • Facial Dermatoses / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patch Tests
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Syndrome
  • Time Factors


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones