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.
Fluticasone propionate is a highly selective agonist at the glucocorticoid receptor with negligible activity at androgen , estrogen , or mineralocorticoid receptors , thereby producing anti-inflammatory and vasoconstriction effects. It has been shown to have a wide range of inhibitory effects on multiple cell types (. mast cell , eosinophil , neutrophil , macrophages , and lymphocytes ) and mediators (. histamine , eicosanoids , leukotrienes , and cytokines ) involved in inflammation . Fluticasone propionate is stated to exert a topical effect on the lungs without significant systemic effects at usual doses, due to its low systemic bioavailability .
The normal inflammatory response to local infections can be masked by halobetasol. Application of topical corticosteroids to areas of infection, including tuberculosis of the skin, dermatologic fungal infection, and cutaneous or systemic viral infection (., measles or varicella), should be initiated or continued only if the appropriate antiinfective treatment is instituted. Herpes infection may be transmitted to other sites, including the eye. If the infection does not respond to the antimicrobial therapy, the concurrent use of the topical corticosteroid should be discontinued until the infection is controlled. Topical corticosteroids may delay the healing of non-infected wounds, such as venous stasis ulcers.