There is no agreed treatment for topical corticosteroid withdrawal, apart from ceasing the topical corticosteroid. However whether this should be tapered or abrupt has not been determined. Japanese reports suggest there is minimal difference in the outcome, so recommend immediate cessation. A tapering course of oral steroids is helpful, as the addiction appears to relate only to the use of topical corticosteroids. Oral tetracyclines and low-dose isotretinoin have been used in steroid rosacea and perioral /periorificial dermatitis .
Methotrexate is given weekly as an intramuscular injection of 15 to 25 mg. Side effects are rare and include leukopenia and hypersensitivity interstitial pneumonitis. Hepatic fibrosis is the most severe potential sequela of long-term therapy. Patients with concomitant alcohol abuse and/or morbid obesity are more likely to develop hepatic fibrosis and therefore should not be treated with methotrexate. It is prudent to obtain a baseline chest radiograph and to monitor complete blood count, liver function and renal function every two weeks until the patient is receiving oral therapy, and every one to three months thereafter. Before methotrexate therapy is initiated, the risks of treatment and the possible need for a liver biopsy should be discussed with the patient.
The vasoconstrictor assay is a highly reliable method used to determine the bioequivalence of topical corticosteroid preparations. By assessing skin blanching, the assay describes the delivery of the active agent through the skin barrier, intrinsic activity at the receptor, and the rate of clearance from the site of application. Vasoconstrictor rankings are generally good predictors of efficacy in clinical trials. Vasoconstrictor assays are not as predictive of outcomes in clinical practice because these assays do not account for a critical factor: how well patients use the medication. Patient compliance plays a vital role in corticosteroid potency.