Topical corticosteroids should be used as directed by a doctor or pharmacist. To control the quantity of medicine applied, many doctors recommend an amount equal to the last segment of an adult fingertip for an area equal to two adult palms. For example, a fingertip’s worth of topical corticosteroid could cover a small child’s legs and feet. Children have a higher degree of absorption because of the ratio of their skin to their weight, and care must be taken to avoid using too much medication, which increases the risk of side effects. 1,2
processing.... Drugs & Diseases > Protocols Topical Corticosteroids Updated: Aug 19, 2015
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.