We urge people who are affected to read the newly published patient safety leaflet and to speak to their doctor or other prescriber if they have questions and concerns. Discontinuing topical steroids (moderate to high potency) can cause acute topical corticosteroid withdrawal — but how long do the symptoms last? Well, the duration of topical steroid withdrawal syndrome varies from days to months, though your skin will return to its normal condition the recovery can be slow.

  • Hydrocortisone skin treatments work on your skin’s cells to stop these chemicals being released.
  • This was suggested as a possible mechanism of rebound flare in atopic dermatitis, which is not uncommon.
  • The vaccine against the most common cause of pneumonia and yearly flu vaccines don’t interact with steroid tablets, as they’re not live vaccines.
  • The MHRA received an enquiry from a patient representative to the Yellow Card scheme about the risk of topical steroid withdrawal reactions, which triggered this assessment.
  • Corticosteroids for skin problems in children younger than 10 years are available only on prescription.

Sometimes these diseases can be severe in people who are taking steroids, and you might need to have other treatment before you start to get better. You won’t be able to have steroid creams or gels if you have an infection that affects your skin. Some other skin problems, such as rosacea, acne and ulcers, can be made worse by steroid creams so you might not be able to take them if you have any of these conditions.

Increased risk of infection

Steroid injections are appropriate for keloid and hypertrophic scar forms, as well as other skin disorders. If you’re using a treatment you’ve bought from a pharmacy or shop, speak to your doctor if you still have symptoms after 1 week, or if your skin gets worse at any time. For more information about using hydrocortisone during pregnancy, read this leaflet about steroid creams and ointments on the Best Use of Medicines in Pregnancy (BUMPs). Most people do not have any side effects when they use them for less than 4 weeks.

Steroids can weaken bones, which can lead to a condition known as osteoporosis. This condition makes it more likely that you’ll fracture your bones, sometimes after very minor falls or bumps. You should always take medication as prescribed by the person treating you.

Ointment or cream?

Topical steroid withdrawal (TSW) is not something that many of us have heard of, but for the unlucky sufferers of this skin condition, TSW means constant pain and irritation and a complete disruption of daily life. Our community includes people with facial palsy, parents, family members, friends and health professionals. Don’t have immunisations with live vaccines while you’re having treatment and for up to 12 months afterwards. Ask your doctor or pharmacist how long you should avoid live vaccinations.

If your condition worsens during use consult a pharmacist or doctor – you may be experiencing an allergic reaction, have an infection or your condition requires a different treatment. It is important to note that a reported reaction or case does not necessarily mean it has been caused by the drug or vaccine, only that the reporter had a suspicion it may have. Underlying or concurrent illnesses may be responsible and such events can also be coincidental. FaceRestoration offers intralesional steroid injections for elevated and atypical scar types.

Patient experience

This should be discussed with your doctor or specialist nurse to make sure the benefits outweigh the risks. To avoid transfer to the infant only mild and moderate topical corticosteroids should be used on the breast and around the nipple, and these should be washed off before breastfeeding. Topical streroid withdrawal has now been recognised as a medical condition after years of campaigning by sufferers. Lyonsleaf products are regulated as cosmetics and we are not permitted to recommend their use to treat medical conditions.

In this report, we use the term topical steroid withdrawal reactions. This review has concluded that when used correctly, topical corticosteroid medicines are safe and effective treatments for skin disorders. However, if used very often or continually for a prolonged time, there have been reports of withdrawal reactions after they are stopped.

These side effects tend to occur only after long-term use or with high doses. For more information on how any of our treatments can help you, please get in touch. At first, I used the sauna for a few minutes because I was so weak we needed to get my blood moving.

However, as time passed many patients required systemic corticosteroids at increasingly frequent intervals, some every 6 to 10 weeks. Daily topical treatment only maintained tolerance of symptoms and mild diminution of the rash. Patients complained that corticosteroids “were not working anymore”.