Topical corticosteroids need not cause skin atrophy in pediatric patients

January 01, 0001

Topical corticosteroids need not cause skin atrophy in pediatric patients

The researchers conducted a cross-sectional observational study to determine the atrophogenic potential of topical corticosteroids (TCS) in children with dermatitis requiring long-term TCS suppression. Children who were able to achieve good disease control, with a maximum Eczema Area and Severity Index score of 1.0, using TCS were examined for adverse effects of treatment. Cutaneous atrophy was assessed using a validated dermoscopic technique. Cutaneous sites exposed to TCS were compared with nonexposed sites in all patients.

There was no significant atrophy in 70 TCS-exposed and 22 TCS-naïve children. Mild grade 1 telangiectasia of the cubital fossa was observed in 3.3% of the test group and 3.1% of the control group.

The researchers concluded: "We conclude that routine, appropriate, long-term use of TCS in children with dermatitis does not cause skin atrophy. These data do not support the widely held belief that routine use of TCS will ‘thin the skin’. Parents, pharmacists, and health practitioners should be confident about the safety of using this treatment."

We really need to know more about the length of time of treatment and long-term follow up, including systemic effects.

For the full abstract, click here.

Pediatric Dermatology published online 20 April 2011
© 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc
Evaluation of the Atrophogenic Potential of Topical Corticosteroids in Pediatric Dermatology Patients. Esther Hong, Saxon Smith and Gayle Fischer. Correspondence to Esther Hong: [email protected]

Category: S. Skin. Keywords: atrophy, potential, evaluation, topical corticosteroids, children, cross-sectional observational study, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Stephen Wilkinson, Melbourne, Australia. Posted on Global Family Doctor 13 May 2011

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