If you have recently started using corticosteroids and have developed acne, you are not the only one! It is not uncommon for those using steroids to experience this side effect, often called “steroid acne.”
What is steroid acne?
The Skin and Beauty Center team describes steroid acne as a specific type of acne that occurs due to corticosteroids. Corticosteroids may be administered by IV, oral medication, or topical products and can result in a rash of acne that can be difficult to address. While corticosteroids are essential medications for some patients, the side effect of steroid acne can be bothersome to many patients who have otherwise clear skin.
How do corticosteroids cause acne?
The mechanisms by which corticosteroids lead to the development of acne are not fully understood. However, it is thought that corticosteroids may increase sebum production, which can lead to clogged pores and the development of acne lesions. In addition, corticosteroids may also interfere with the average turnover of skin cells, leading to a build-up of dead skin cells, which can further contribute to clogged pores.
What are the symptoms of steroid acne?
Steroid acne typically presents as red, inflamed papules and pustules on the face, chest, and back. The rash may be itchy or painful, and patients may also experience swelling and tenderness in the affected area.
How is steroid acne treated?
The first step in treating steroid acne is to identify and avoid any potential triggers. If possible, patients should try to use a different type of corticosteroid or reduce their dosage. In some cases, it might also be possible to switch to a different medication altogether.
If reducing or avoiding corticosteroids is not possible or does not improve acne, topical treatments may be helpful. Benzoyl peroxide, retinoids, and other acne-fighting products can help to clear the skin and prevent new lesions from forming. In difficult situations, oral antibiotics might also be necessary to control acne.
Address steroid acne today!
Steroid acne can be a frustrating condition for many of our patients who need corticosteroid treatment for other conditions, as it can be lifesaving. By working with a dermatologist who is experienced in treating steroid acne, you can control or even eradicate it. Call the Skin and Beauty Center of California today to request a consultation visit with one of our experienced providers.