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Corticosteroid addiction and withdrawal in the atopic: the red burning skin syndrome

      We recently reported 100 patients with a chronic eyelid dermatitis that did not resolve until all topical and systemic corticosteroids had been discontinued.
      • Rapaport M.J.
      • Rapaport V.
      Eyelid dermatitis to red face syndrome to cure clinical experience in 100 cases.
      All of these patients had been treated with long-term topical corticosteroids, usually with escalating dosage and frequency of application. In the majority of patients, the initial symptom of pruritus commonly evolved into a characteristic, severe burning sensation. In many cases, systemic corticosteroids had also been administered to relieve the severe erythema and burning, but this only exacerbated the condition. In our opinion the continuing dermatitis resulted from “steroid addiction.” Unfortunately, the time required for corticosteroid withdrawal mirrored the time over which they had originally been applied, and was often protracted.
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