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Psoriasis and Corticosteroids

Written by ColleenO, sshowalter.

Corticosteroids are used for treating mild to moderate psoriasis. Available in many forms (such as ointments, creams, sprays, gels, shampoos and foams) and strengths, these medicines contain a synthetic version of hormones that occur naturally in the body. The weaker, over-the-counter strengths are usually not effective in treating psoriasis. Unlike systemic steroids, withdrawal (stopping) of topical steroids does not flare psoriasis.

Effect of Corticosteroids on Psoriasis

Corticosteroids are used for treating the inflammation associated with mild to moderate psoriasis.

Read more details about Corticosteroids.

Possible side effects over the short-term include:

  • Poor wound healing
  • Indigestion, nausea, or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Appetite gain or loss
  • Weight gain

Possible side effects of long-term use include:

  • Slowing of growth in children
  • Acne
  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts
  • Diabetes
  • Thinning of the skin
  • Osteoporosis

If you experience any of these side effects, continue the medications, but contact your doctor.

In addition, these drugs can cause more serious medical problems, including immunosuppression and peptic ulcer disease (if you are also taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Discuss with your physician any signs and symptoms that might indicate a serious medical problem.

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