Choosing topical corticosteroids

Am Fam Physician. 2009 Jan 15;79(2):135-40.

Abstract

Topical corticosteroids are one of the oldest and most useful treatments for dermatologic conditions. There are many topical steroids available, and they differ in potency and formulation. Successful treatment depends on an accurate diagnosis and consideration of the steroid's delivery vehicle, potency, frequency of application, duration of treatment, and side effects. Although use of topical steroids is common, evidence of effectiveness exists only for select conditions, such as psoriasis, vitiligo, eczema, atopic dermatitis, phimosis, acute radiation dermatitis, and lichen sclerosus. Evidence is limited for use in melasma, chronic idiopathic urticaria, and alopecia areata.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / administration & dosage*
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / adverse effects
  • Dermatologic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Pharmaceutical Vehicles
  • Skin Diseases / drug therapy

Substances

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Pharmaceutical Vehicles