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Avatar universal

steroid induced atrophy

i was using topical steroids on my groin area for about 2 years and i realized that it has done permanent damage to my skin ,so i went to a dermatologist and he said that it is steroid induced atrophy!! my questions are:

1) is it reversible?
2) what is the treatmen?
3) how long does it take to heal completely?

11 Responses
563773 tn?1374246539
Whether this steroid atrophy is reversible or not depends on the potency and for how long the steroids have been used. If jock itch or tinea cruris is suspected, and antifungal cream should be used daily but If prolonged used of a strong topical steroid in a thin occluded skin area is suspected, the steroid induced changes might not totally be reversible.

I hope it helps. Take care and regards.

Avatar universal
hello and thanks for the reply

i guess the damage is permanent because i have used them for a long time, also i consulted my doctor he gave me an anti fungal medicine (tyza 250 mg) and he says that radio frequency might help....
what do you suggest.
563773 tn?1374246539
If the damage is permanent then I am afraid very little treatment methods are available for it. I hope it helps. Take care and regards.
Avatar universal
I'm very sorry to hear this.

I used a Lotrisone generic for only 10 days and have caused horrible irreversible damage.

I called the doctor in a panic on like day 7 and explained that I was terrified, that my testicles were bright red and burned like Hell and he said "I'm not concerned".  That was his fking answer.  And I listened to him!!!!!!! I asked him like 10 times "Are you sure, this burns a lot" and he said "I'm not concerned".  What was I thinking?!!!  I got serious burns and had to go the emergency room.  Besides the skin looking like it had caved in on itself and my testicles had been submerged in a deep fryer, two thick patches at the base of my penis turned white, cracked and peeled off, revealing raw skin underneath.  I could strangle that bstrd doctor. They still hurt at times, like I've had nerve damage or something.  I see little dots of like dried blood all over the veins.  I think this is because the skin has gotten so thin that the veins don't have that extra thickness of skin to protect them.  This was in 2006 and it's 2011 now and this has ruined every aspect of my life.  I have not been able to enjoy life the way I used to.  I have changed as a person and am depressed ALL the time.  And all because I listened to a stupid quack doctor who should have had his license revoked a long time ago. I do hope you are not in as bad a shape as me. I don't wish this on anyone.
This sounds like a nightmare, and I experienced something similar, but I am a woman...no testicles. It happened under my breasts leading into my abdomen. I went to an incredible dermatologist because I have atrophy that was induced by using steroids over a long period of time, topical steroids. The dermatologist prescribed me a cream called Elidel. Please go to a doc and ask for it. I just started it but this doctor is SUPERMAN in terms of skin. Hope this helps.
2134929 tn?1338260664
Dear Dr. Bhupinder:

Could you please tell me why there is such widespread igonorance in the medical community about steroid creams?  You seem to be the only one on here who even is willing to say that Steroid Atrophy is permanent.  That Doctor Rockoff.  I don't know what planet he's from, but how many people crying to him about their steroid atrophied testicles will it take for him to wake up?!  I mean really!!!!  My damage happened in less than two weeks and it is terrible, terrible, terrible.  I went to like a dozen doctors after the fact and none of them could identify skin atrophy.  They were all dismissive and very ignorant on steroids.  How is this possible being that steroids have been around for over 50 years?!!!  This is beyond crimninal.
Avatar universal
I was prescribed a medication with the steriod Betamethasone for a tinea infection and I deeply regret ever using the stuff. Used it for 8 weeks total and it caused skin atrophy on my foreskin, swelling of the glans, and there is a constant burning and redness that will not go away. I stopped using it 8 weeks ago. I've seen three doctors and they all seem to think nothing of it, as if it's a cold that will go away in three days. I'd like to see a doctor try this stuff for a few weeks so they just might finally understand what hell there is to pay for using a potent steriod on the groin. Then just maybe, someone out there might listen. Why are steroids even used to treat fungal infections? The steroids can actually make it worse. Wake up docs, you are all much to smart to keep using this stuff that is causing so much harm and grief to patients who shouldn't be using it and don't need it in the first place.
Avatar universal
The skin on my face was badly damaged by a quack doctor, and it changed my life and personality, also. I am a do it your-selfer and I got busy doing whatever I could. All of the following things helped to some degree: Olive oil, Bio Oil, coconut oil, then vitamin e oil really seemed to help, then Dr Christopher's Comfrey Cream really, really seemed to help. On top of this, I am taking internally 1000 units Solgar vitamin E, and 1000 mg of Lysine and 3000 mcg of Biotin. Of all of these, I would say the Vitamin E oil and esp Comfrey cream helped the most, and internally, I think the Lysine, Vit E caps and esp the biotin helped. Hope this helps you, I'm sorry for what happened, but trust me, it is worse if it is on your face... I haven't given up hope. My skin is slowly getting better. It's been a year and a half, but I only discovered the comfrey cream about a month ago. Oh, and I have been taking 2500 mg of vitamin C most of my adult life, which is, I think, why I had great skin before this quack "doctor" ruined my skin.
Avatar universal
So I posted a comment last week on a discussion similar to this.  It was only a week ago that I discovered my own diagnosis of steroid atrophy on my ankle.  I got a spider bite 5 years ago and have been struggling since with an opened wound, burning, skin sensitivity, and inability to grow back healthy skin that does not crack.  And now it's given me a vasular problem.  25 doctors could not tell me why I have this problem.  Whenever I used the steroid cream things were better.  But weeks after I stopped everything deteriorated.  That's why it was so hard for me to figure out, and I am not an MD.  So the bottom line is I am certian of my diagnosis and I am paying NO attention to what anyone says about this being permanent.  I have been off the steroids for about a month and have been miserable, but in the last week have figured out my treatment plan and actually woke up today with my leg looking remarkably better.  The problem as I understand it is that the steoids destroy cells, the mitosis process, collagen production, and the skin loses elastin, water, fat, and protein into deep layers.  My plan is to do all the things to put these back in my body and my leg.  Depending on the part of your body affected, some places may be easier to deal with than others, but this is what I am doing.  Milk soaks with 50% whole milk 50% water and ice, using viva papertowel dipped in milk to cover the area, and a dosing cup to slowly pour the milk over the paper toweled area.  It puts back fat, protein, and the PH of milk is good for the PH of skin. I am eating all the foods that the internet says are good for skin and promote collagen production-things high in Vit C like dark green veggies, sweet potatoes, fruits, avocado.  That's easy for me because they are delicious.  I am seeing a chiropractor who is wholistic and has great gadgets in his office, including a cold laser to promote healing, electronic acupuncture, something called a RIFE machine for inflammation, and all kinds of detox methods including a foot bath and special mud.  It may sound hoakie but it is certainly working for me.  Today was my best day yet in a year.  I also eat Sunrider foods, which I get from the internet.  They are not medicine, but they are concentrated whole foods that help the body do amazing things, nourish, balance and cleanse.  The company is legit, the products are superior, and since I have increased my consumption of certain products I can see a difference.  They also have a Vit B spray that I spray right on the area.  It's soothing and nourishing for the area. The company will assign you to someone to consult with you. I try not to cover my leg whenever possible since bandages cause me pain and irritation, and will be going out on disability so I can walk around in shorts at home for a little while without a covering. I also see a psychologist for hypnosis, focusing on the rebuilding of the layers of skin the way they should be. So take heart.  Do as many of these things as you can, consistently, everyday, and you will have progress.  I have been depressed too, but I am not now, ever since I figured this all out. Don't give up. With some help you can get relief and restore your skin.
Avatar universal

I too suffered from the steroid cream. I used it 7 weeks because my doctor told me to.  And after it kept burnings stinging and red. This is on my foreskin and frenulum and partly on the glans of the penis.

I have been to 6 dermalogists and urologists doctors and even a professor.  All refuse to believe the steroid cream did this. And they give excuses like  it's lichen sclerosus, diabetic neuropathy, and my personal favourite that it's all in my head. Even though my frenulum is swollen like a balloon and everytime I clean beneath the foreskin it blisters and swells.
This suffering has gone on now for 5 years. I can't leave the house very often. I live in a loose dressing gown and underwear would be torture.
I am scared that soon they will have to circumcise me which will then expose the tender skin on the glands.  

My life is hell. And I guess no pharmaceutical company would be trying to find a cure for the rare unfortunate few victims out there.

I guess my life has to become hell for as long as I can tolerate it. And if there is no treatment I guess that that will leave only two options either live with the pain and be a recluse and die from lack of exercise and loneliness. Or end life altogether.

Any reasons why I should take the last option?

I have lost all my friends and my family ignore me. My partner puts up with me. intimate relations no longer exist. And the loneliness and bordum are all that's left for me.

Any doctor out there that can give me a good reason to keep going? Or is this all I have to look forward to or worse?

Has an allergic contact dermatitis been considered? This could be ongoing if the allergen has not been eliminated. For instance, you may have reacted to something in the cream (e.g. propylene gycol), which is also contained in other skin care products that you might still be using.
Of note: I also have a genital skin issue and am having similar thoughts (regarding your "last option"). This includes: steroid side effects, "psychiatric" diagnosis, alienation from others, cessation of intimate relations.
Avatar universal
I have created my own prison as well. I was SO close to ending it but then all of the doctor visits and suffering would be for nothing. I have skin atrophy under my breasts. I also have 2-3 other severe skin disorders. DO NOT GIVE UP! My NEW dermatologist prescribed ELIDEL for the atrophy. It's NON steroidal. Go to your local CCS and ask the pharmacist to order you DOMEBORO. It's a powder you mix with water to dry out blisters/wetness. For the swelling, ibuprofen. Also, ask CVS pharmacy to order you GOLD BOND LIDOCAINE. It numbs everything!!! I really hope this helps! Xx
Avatar universal
What cream did you use ?
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