Side-effects of topical glucocorticosteroids- can they be avoided?
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Katedra i Klinika Dermatologii, Wenerologii i Alergologii, Uniwersytet Medyczny, Wrocław, Polska
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Beata Anna Jastrząb   

Katedra i Klinika Dermatologii, Wenerologii i Alergologii Uniwersytetu Medycznego we Wrocławiu, Polska
Med Og Nauk Zdr. 2020;26(2):97–101
Introduction and objective:
Nowadays, topical glucocorticosteroids are widely used not only by dermatologists. They exert their anti-inflammatory, immunosuppressive and antiproliferative effects through various mechanisms. The wide range of their uses and availability often do not go hand-in-hand with proper dosage, which may be associated with the number of local and systemic side-effects. This article contains basic information necessary for rational pharmacotherapy.

Review of the current state of knowledge:
The choice of the right drug preparation depends on many factors. The selection of strength of a topical corticosteroid depends on the type of skin lesions and the anatomical region of application. Currently on the pharmaceutical market, a variety of vehicles for topical steroids are available which exhibit different properties. The fingertip unit (FTU) allows determination of the appropriate amount of topical preparation applied to the skin. The addition of other substances can extend the spectrum of topical glucocorticosteroids. Adverse side-effects of topical glucocorticoids can be divided into local and systemic, with the latter occurring significantly less frequently. Many of these adverse effects can be prevented, provided that the principles of appropriate drug selection are observed, as well as the application scheme and consideration of factors affecting drug absorption.

Knowledge of the basic rules of safe topical glucocorticosteroids therapy is useful not only for dermatologists, but also for other specialists. It allows us to optimize treatment, while reducing the risk of adverse effects.

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