Topical Steroid Withdrawal (TSW)

Ashley Schwab Updated by Ashley Schwab

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We recommend reading these general instructions on how to use SmartLotion®: Click here.

Stinging can occur when first applying SmartLotion®. For instructions on how to reduce the stinging, please click here.


  • ‘Rebound’ redness between steroid treatment applications
  • Rashes spreading and developing in new areas of the body
  • Intense itching, burning, stinging
  • Failure to clear with usual course of treatment, requiring a higher potency topical steroid to achieve progressively less clearing.
  • Increased allergic response
  • Skin flushing bright red, resembling a sunburn


Dr. Harlan says that for topical steroid withdrawal, a good dermatologist will prescribe an oral or topical antibiotic which will typically treat TSW in a matter of no more than a couple of months.

For his patients, Dr. Harlan includes SmartLotion in addition to the antibiotic routine as he says it brings the treatment time down to a matter of days or weeks rather than months with antibiotics alone.

Although SmartLotion contains a steroid it is proven to not cause TSW even with long term use. Dr. Harlan uses it to treat any underlying dermatitis in addition to helping speed up the recovery time for TSW.

Click here to read an article on why SmartLotion® does not cause side-effects:

Click here to read an article on how Dr. Harlan typically treats TSW in his patients here:

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Stasis Dermatitis