Topical Steroid Side Effects

Dr. Koushik Lahiri

Over the last nearly seven decades topical corticosteroids have meaningfully influenced the dermatologist's proficiency to efficiently treat several demanding dermatoses. The existing choice of preparations and potency gives flexibility to handle all groups of patients, different stages of disease, and diverse anatomic positions and made it almost indivisible from the practice of dermatology anywhere in the globe. But, these are assumed to be used in countless dermatological maladies based on evidence based comprehension and proficiency.

Most of the time, at least primarily, family physicians and general practitioners mostly manage Dermatological disorders. Insufficient awareness about the potency based classification and insufficient understanding about the mechanism of action, indications, contraindications of topical corticosteroids has given rise to the rapid rise in incidence of improper use of these drugs which threatens to bring disrepute to the entire group of these remarkable drugs.

Benefits of rational and ethical use and the harm of overuse and misuse for non-medical, especially for cosmetic purposes, should be clearly conveyed before penning a prescription involving topical corticosteroids. Despite being the most useful drug for such treatment they are known to produce serious local, systemic and psychological side-effects when overused or misused.

This is especially true not only in countries with less than optimum effective rules and regulations but also in the most advanced and developed societies.

This treatise aims to sensitize general public about the potential side effects of this extremely useful group of medicine.

The general practitioners/Family physicians may also be benefitted from this book.

I congratulate the author Suhein Beck for her passion and commitment and sincerely hope that this book would not promote any unwarranted steroid-phobia, rather make everyone aware about the uses and misuses of topical corticosteroids.

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Vice President, International Society of Dermatology (2017-2021)

President, Association of Cutaneous Surgeons (I) (2013-2015)

Editor, Indian Journal of Dermatology (2012-2017)

Chairperson, ACSI Academy of Dermatosurgery (2017-)


International Fellow, American Academy of Dermatology

Honorary Board Member and Foundation Fellow, Asian Academy of Dermatology and Venereology

Member, European Academy of Dermatology

Fellow, IADVL Academy of Dermatology