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Adverse skin reactions to inhaled corticosteroids.

Inhaled corticosteroids are considered to be the therapy of choice in the treatment of asthma and allergic rhinitis. However, various cutaneous adverse reactions have been described and are probably present in approximately half of patients. Some of these reactions are related to the daily dosage of steroids or the duration of treatment, for example: thinning of the skin, easy bruising, acne or peri-oral dermatitis, mucocutaneous infection and, especially, candidiasis. Other cutaneous side effects are independent of the dose, such as allergic reactions and a few other rare side effects. Adverse effects could be prevented by monitoring the daily dosage and the family history of the patients, and by following advice provided on the use of inhaled corticosteroids. Specific treatments for infection, acne or allergy can cure these side effects. However, cutaneous side effects can become unpleasant for the patient and temporarily withdrawing therapy has proven to be extremely effective.

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