This occurs because steroid abuse causes hormonal imbalance in the body. Steroid withdrawal rarely causes dangerous physical effects, but you might experience severe depression and suicidal thoughts. The papulopustular type is more common in patients who are using topical corticosteroids for pigmentary disorders or acneiform conditions. When used correctly, topical corticosteroid medicines are safe and effective treatments for skin disorders.

The table below gives an idea of how often you might need to take steroids. If you do need a steroid card, make sure you always carry it with you. If you lose it, you can get a replacement from your pharmacy or GP.

Common concerns about taking steroids

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is the government agency responsible for regulating medicines in the UK and ensuring their safety, quality and effectiveness. It is very important that you follow instructions from healthcare professionals. You should also read the patient information leaflet included with your medicine. If your skin condition gets worse or does not get better, it is important that you return to your doctor for advice.

You might also be given a drug called a proton pump inhibitor or another medicine to protect your stomach. 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.

How to treat withdrawal from topical corticosteroids

All caregivers provided their children with treatment for topical steroid addiction or withdrawal symptoms, which included discontinuation of topical corticosteroid use. We received an enquiry to the Yellow Card scheme regarding ‘red skin syndrome’, which triggered this assessment. Red skin syndrome is a term used by patients for side effects seen after stopping topical corticosteroids that were used for prolonged periods of time. These reactions are also referred to as steroid addiction, topical steroid withdrawal, red burning skin, and steroid dermatitis.

Symptoms like major depression can linger for over a year, while hypogonadism can be resolved within a few weeks. As you progress through the different stages of withdrawal, it will become more tolerable. It is more intense in the first few months of withdrawal than in the later months.

Your cancer type

This type of topical steroid withdrawal typically develops in patients who’ve been using topical steroids to treat conditions similar to acne (view our acne treatments here), or even just cosmetic issues. Topical steroid withdrawal will develop within weeks of ceasing treatment, and will (at least initially) be confined to the area that was being treated. If you develop symptoms months after ceasing treatment, or they appear elsewhere on your body, then you’re not suffering from topical corticosteroid withdrawal. It’s quite rare and has only been known to affect adults, though it can last for weeks, months, or even years.

Medicines that can interact with corticosteroids

56% of children had been prescribed topical steroids at 12 months of age or younger. Of the 11 types of topical steroids initially prescribed, 73% were of the mid-potency to high-potency class, with 30% being over-the-counter hydrocortisone. Despite signs and symptoms, only 6 cases (22%) reported that a medical provider had given them the diagnosis of topical steroid addiction or topical steroid withdrawal reactions.

Realising that it would be life changing to other TSW sufferers too, she has been spreading the word and bringing more TSW clients to us for their treatment. Writing in his Express column, the broadcaster revealed that togamultisportclub he was ‘turning into Mr Blobby’ while taking the anti-inflammatory medicine but struggled with the withdrawal symptoms. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are a group of commonly used painkillers.