Topical corticosteroids for hair loss

Thank you for your letter. The use of topical corticosteroids may induce atrophy and other adverse effects. If we consider that kids have a thinner skin, with higher absorption, the use of topical corticosteroids in this population should be more cautious. However, we are not saying that topical corticosteroids should be avoided. As we say in the article, ‘Topical corticosteroids are safe and effective drugs. Always establish a clinical diagnosis before prescribing an appropriate topical corticosteroid according to the affected area, patient’s age, clinical presentation and predicted responsiveness to treatment’.

Yes. Topical corticosteroids have not been studied in women who are breastfeeding. However, significant absorption into the blood stream and then into the milk would only be expected with very potent corticosteroids used on large areas of the body. Make sure medication is not placed on the breast area (especially high potency corticosteroids) or in any area that may come in contact with your baby’s skin and mouth. Also be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after applying the medication. Be sure to talk to your health care provider about any question or concerns regarding brestfeeding.

Weaker topical steroids are utilized for thin- skinned and sensitive areas, especially areas under occlusion, such as the armpit, groin, buttock crease, breast folds. Weaker steroids are used on the face, eyelids, diaper area, perianal skin, and intertrigo of the groin or body folds. Moderate steroids are used for atopic dermatitis , nummular eczema , xerotic eczema , lichen sclerosis et atrophicus of the vulva , scabies (after scabiecide) and severe dermatitis . Strong steroids are used for psoriasis , lichen planus , discoid lupus , chapped feet, lichen simplex chronicus , severe poison ivy exposure, alopecia areata , nummular eczema, and severe atopic dermatitis in adults. [1]

Prescriptions written for topical steroids should include explicit instructions about where and how often to apply the preparation, and the body areas where use must be avoided.  Pharmacists should ensure these directions are included on the dispensing label.  Prescribers should bear in mind that patients may keep unused or leftover corticosteroid skin preparations for some time after they are prescribed and thus forget the original indication or instructions for use.  The prescribing of unnecessarily large quantities should be avoided.  Patients should be warned not to share their topical steroid preparation with other people as this may result in unsafe application to unsuitable areas such as the face, as well as the potentially inappropriate treatment of undiagnosed skin conditions.

Topical corticosteroids for hair loss

topical corticosteroids for hair loss

Prescriptions written for topical steroids should include explicit instructions about where and how often to apply the preparation, and the body areas where use must be avoided.  Pharmacists should ensure these directions are included on the dispensing label.  Prescribers should bear in mind that patients may keep unused or leftover corticosteroid skin preparations for some time after they are prescribed and thus forget the original indication or instructions for use.  The prescribing of unnecessarily large quantities should be avoided.  Patients should be warned not to share their topical steroid preparation with other people as this may result in unsafe application to unsuitable areas such as the face, as well as the potentially inappropriate treatment of undiagnosed skin conditions.

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