You can buy some topical corticosteroids "over-the-counter" without a prescription. For example, for dermatitis, you can buy the steroid cream called hydrocortisone 1% from your pharmacy. Do not apply this to your face unless your doctor has told you to do so. This is because it may trigger a skin condition affecting the face ( acne or rosacea. ) Long-term use may also damage the skin. On your face this would be more noticeable than the rest of your body. So usually only weak steroids are used on the face. Those which are suitable are prescription-only.
The most common side effect of topical corticosteroid use is skin atrophy. All topical steroids can induce atrophy, but higher potency steroids, occlusion, thinner skin, and older patient age increase the risk. The face, the backs of the hands, and intertriginous areas are particularly susceptible. Resolution often occurs after discontinuing use of these agents, but it may take months. Concurrent use of topical tretinoin (Retin-A) % may reduce the incidence of atrophy from chronic steroid applications. 30 Other side effects from topical steroids include permanent dermal atrophy, telangiectasia, and striae.
An Alternative and an Adjunct
Despite the availability of multiple treatment options for SD, clinicians and patients are both interested in alternative options that may enhance patient safety and satisfaction. Steroid-free Promiseb Cream is a useful new addition to the treatment palette. The product’s fast-acting antiinflammatory action, shown to be similar to that of desonide %, may obviate the need for topical corticosteroids in management of mild to moderate SD. Promiseb Cream presents a suitable alternative to slower-acting TIMs, which may be contraindicated in the youngest SD patients (under age two).