Choosing Wisely:

Don’t use systemic (oral or injected) corticosteroids as a long-term treatment for dermatitis.

Rationale and Comments: The potential complications of long-term treatment with oral or injected corticosteroids outweigh the potential benefits. Although the short-term use of systemic corticosteroids is sometimes appropriate to provide relief of severe symptoms, long-term treatment could cause serious short- and long-term adverse effects in both children and adults. In extreme cases that have failed to respond to other appropriate treatments, the benefits of systemic corticosteroids must be weighed against these potentially serious risks.
Sponsoring Organizations:
  • American Academy of Dermatology
  • Sources:
  • Expert consensus
  • Disciplines:
  • Dermatologic
  • References: • Sidbury R, Davis DM, Cohen DE, Cordoro KM, Berger TG, Bergman JN, Chamlin SL, Cooper KD, Feldman SR, Hanifin JM, Krol A, Margolis DJ, Paller AS, Schwarzenberger K, Silverman RA, Simpson EL, Tom WL, Williams HC, Elmets CA, Block J, Harrod CG, Begolka WS, Eichenfield LF; American Academy of Dermatology. Guidelines of care for the management of atopic dermatitis: section 3. Management and treatment with phototherapy and systemic agents. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2014 Aug;71(2):327-49.
    • Diepgen TL, Andersen KE, Chosidow O, Coenraads PJ, Elsner P, English J, Fartasch M, Gimenez-Arnau A, Nixon R, Sasseville D, Agner T. Guidelines for diagnosis, prevention and treatment of hand eczema. J Dtsch Dermatol Ges. 2015 Jan;13(1):e1-22.
    • Usatine RP, Riojas M. Diagnosis and management of contact dermatitis. Am Fam Physician. 2010 Aug 1;82(3):249-55.
    • Krejci-Manwaring J, McCarty MA, Camacho F, Manuel J, Hartle J, Fleischer A Jr, Feldman SR. Topical tacrolimus 0.1% improves symptoms of hand dermatitis in patients treated with a prednisone taper. J Drugs Dermatol. 2008 Jul;7(7):643-6.

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