Corticosteroids' effect on the height of atopic dermatitis patients: a controlled questionnaire study

Pediatr Dermatol. Sep-Oct 2009;26(5):524-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1470.2009.00865.x.


To investigate if children treated with topical corticosteroids have a significantly shorter height than the height of children not treated with corticosteroids and to see if corticosteroids affect the ability for treated children to meet growth potential defined as midparental height. Parents of patients attending the UNC's Dermatology clinic completed the survey. The patient's height and siblings' heights were measured by staff. Parents' heights were self reported as were the child's diagnosis of atopic dermatitis, and duration of use of corticosteroids. The patient's height was standardized using CDC charts. Additionally, the midparental height was calculated and standardized. The difference between present and predicted standardized heights was calculated; 151 surveys yielded data on 83 girls and 63 boys (ages 2-21 yrs). The standing height and the difference in standing height and midparental scores were not significantly different among: (i) children with and without atopic dermatitis; and (ii) children treated and not treated with corticosteroids. The overall height of children examined in this survey who were treated with topical corticosteroids appears to be unaffected.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Development / drug effects
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / administration & dosage
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / adverse effects*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Body Height / drug effects*
  • Child
  • Child Development / drug effects
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Siblings
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Young Adult


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones