Study refutes steroids risk for kids’ skin

CHILDREN may not be appropriately treated for eczema due to the “corticosteroids phobia” of parents and health professionals, a Sydney researcher warns.

Clinical dermatologist Associate Professor Gayle Fischer, from the University of Sydney, showed routine long-term use of topical corticosteroids (TCS) is safe after a study of 92 children with a mean age of 3.2 years receiving treatment on body and face for around 10 months.

Ninety-three per cent of patients were using a combination of topical corticosteroids classified as potent (betametha­sone dipropionate 0.05%, methylprednisolone aceponate 0.1% or mometasone furoate 0.01% ointments), moderate (betamethasone valerate 0.02% ointment) and weak (hydrocortisone acetate 1% ointment), depending on the severity of their condition.

Potent steroids were used two to three times a day while skin was flared, then reduced to moderate strength TCS twice a day for a further three days. Parents