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Corticosteroids are similar to natural substances the body produces to help reduce inflammation and itching. For atopic dermatitis, corticosteroids reduce inflammation, itching, and thickening of the skin (lichenification).
Oral corticosteroids are generally not recommended for controlling atopic dermatitis. They are used only for severe cases of atopic dermatitis or when topical agents (creams and ointments) and antihistamines have not worked.
Oral corticosteroids are often effective in reducing inflammation and itching. A high initial dose usually gets rid of the rash quickly.
Side effects of oral corticosteroids include headache, indigestion, increased appetite, restlessness, and increased risk of infection.
Skin rash, blurred vision, increased urination, excessive thirst, and mood changes are side effects that should be reported to your doctor.
Side effects from long-term use can include:
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
Corticosteroids are usually used in combination with preventive measures, such as moisturizing your skin and avoiding skin irritants.
This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.