The most common side effect of topical corticosteroid use is skin atrophy. All topical steroids can induce atrophy, but higher potency steroids, occlusion, thinner skin, and older patient age increase the risk. The face, the backs of the hands, and intertriginous areas are particularly susceptible. Resolution often occurs after discontinuing use of these agents, but it may take months. Concurrent use of topical tretinoin (Retin-A) % may reduce the incidence of atrophy from chronic steroid applications. 30 Other side effects from topical steroids include permanent dermal atrophy, telangiectasia, and striae.
Antibiotics – Neosporin and Polysporin are popular topical antibiotics that come in both a cream and ointment form. Neosporin consists of three different antibiotics, neomycin sulfate, polymixin B sulfate and bacitracin. Polysporin is a combination of two antibiotics, bacitracin and polymixin B sulfate. Generic versions of topical antibiotics are also available, usually marketed as “triple antibiotic” ointment or cream. Topical antibiotics are used to aid healing of minor cuts, scrapes, and burns. Since many people are allergic to neomycin, it may be best to use a topical antibiotic that does not contain this ingredient.
Transdermal patches can be a very precise time released method of delivering a drug. Cutting a patch in half might affect the dose delivered. The release of the active component from a transdermal delivery system (patch) may be controlled by diffusion through the adhesive which covers the whole patch, by diffusion through a membrane which may only have adhesive on the patch rim or drug release may be controlled by release from a polymer matrix. Cutting a patch might cause rapid dehydration of the base of the medicine and affect the rate of diffusion.