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.
While steroids do not produce the euphoric high that other drugs produce, users can still become addicted to anabolic steroids. The longer an individual takes steroids, the higher the risk is that the drug will cause irreversible damage. Professional steroid addiction treatment will included a medically assisted withdrawal phase followed by counseling and therapy. Many steroid users need to be treated for depression after tapering off steroid use. A professional treatment facility is best equipped to address a recovering addict’s physical and psychological needs.