Topical corticosteroids are used for various dermatological conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

Learning objectives

After reading this article, pharmacists should be able to:

  • Describe common misconceptions and misunderstandings of topical corticosteroids
  • Identify current evidence and recommendations on the safety of topical corticosteroids
  • Discuss the role of the pharmacist in educating and reassuring patients on the safety and efficacy of topical corticosteroids.

Competencies (2016) addressed: 1.1.3, 1.3.2, 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.3.2, 3.1.2, 3.2.2, 3.2.5, 3.3.1, 3.6.1.

Competencies (2010) addressed: 1.1.2, 1.2.1, 1.3.1, 1.3.2, 2.1.3, 4.2.2, 4.2.3, 4.3.3, 6.1.2, 6.2.1, 6.2.2, 7.1.2, 7.1.4, 7.2.2.

Case Scenario

Jane, a mother of 2-year-old twins, has come into the pharmacy today to ask the pharmacist (you) for advice. Both twins suffer from eczema, and Jane applies hydrocortisone 1% cream when the eczema flares up. This was on the recommendation of the dermatologist and GP, who they see regularly. She has heard that steroids are associated with many problems; in particular she is worried about them causing stunted growth. Jane is wondering if she is doing the right thing by using hydrocortisone cream on her twins and asks for your advice.

Want to learn more? PSA members can access the full article and assessment questions here to earn up to 1.5 Group 2 CPD credits.

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