What Is Topical Steroid Withdrawal?

TSW (also known as topical steroid withdrawal syndrome, red skin syndrome or RSS) is a condition that affects people who have stopped using topical steroids after a period of using high potency creams. Withdrawal from steroid use affects the way the body reacts after it has become reliant on steroids to manage its inflammatory response.

Topical Steroid Withdrawal @louigi.skin

Symptoms of TSW can be really distressing and might include the following:

  • Extreme shedding of skin
  • Redness on face and body
  • Oozing skin
  • Nerve pain
  • Intense skin sensitivity
  • Difficulty regulating body temperature leading to chills/overheating
  • Night sweats
  • Insomnia
  • Hair loss
  • Oedema/swelling
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Dry irritated eyes
  • Decreased energy levels/extreme tiredness
  • Mood swings or depression


Check out our TSW Info Hub for more information about Topical Steroid Withdrawal, including blogs from people with real life experience of the syndrome, and practical tips for managing symptoms.

Skin Salvation is a safe, effective, intensively hydrating emollient that works in four crucial ways to help you manage your TSW or chronic dry skin:

  1. It is free from the preservatives, perfumes, parabens, essential oils, coconut oils, nut oils, soya, and other common irritants that can hurt so much when applied to such sore, sensitive skin.
  2. It nourishes depleted skin with the essential fatty acids, vitamins and other nutrients the epidermis needs to repair and regenerate.
  3. It uses beeswax providing a fine, protective barrier over the skin - like a sticking plaster over a wound - 
  4. It hydrates, softens and conditions dry, flaking or shedding skin.

For more information about TSW, its symptoms and how to manage them, go to the ITSAN website or Scratch That UK.

With much gratitude to Louise King for her photographs on this page (follow @louigi.skin on her TSW journey)

Other hashtags to follow for peer-to-peer support: #thisisnoteczema #tsw #TSWFab5

Current medical advice is not to use daily topical steroids continuously for more than two to four weeks; then the frequency should be tapered to twice weekly use.

All Natural Starter Set

Topical Steroid Withdrawal

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