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September 1978

Use of Fluorinated Steroid on the Face

Author Affiliations

Silver Spring, Md

Arch Dermatol. 1978;114(9):1403. doi:10.1001/archderm.1978.01640210082040

To the Editor.—  We were recently contacted by telephone to renew a prescription for fluocinolone acetonide ointment. The patient indicated he had been using the medication to treat atopic dermatitis on his face and arms, and that it had been prescribed by another physician. When we learned he had been applying the fluorinated steroid to his face daily for 16 years, we insisted he come down to our office and expected to see a horrendous case of steroid rosacea, steroid acne, perioral dermatitis, telangiectasia, and skin atrophy. When he arrived, we had trouble believing our eyes. He had no side effects whatsoever! The patient was a 31-year-old black man whose facial skin showed even pigmentation and normal texture. His atopic dermatitis was under excellent control.How can one explain the complete absence of side effects in this case? The effects of prolonged use of fluorinated steroids on the face have