Topical steroids have been previously associated with potential for hyperglycemia and glucosuria, and thought to have a relatively safe side effect profile.
In prolonged use, there is the potential for steroids to be absorbed through the skin and eventually reach systemic circulation.
The aim of a study was to investigate the potential association between topical corticosteroid use and development of diabetes.
Researchers have performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of available case-control data in the literature.
Four case-control studies were pooled for meta-analysis.
Overall, a significant association between topical corticosteroid use and development of type 2 diabetes mellitus was found, even after adjustment for confounding factors ( odds ratio, OR 1.24, 95% CI 1.15-1.34, I2 = 91%, p less than 0.00001 ).
There was no potency-dependent effect noted, with no significant difference noted between the subgroups.
In conclusion, the study has demonstrated a potential association between topical corticosteroid use and risk of developing diabetes mellitus.
This risk does not appear to be dependent on potency of the topical medication, but rather the cumulative dose and cumulative duration of use. ( Xagena )
Phan K, Smith SD, J Dermatolog Treat 2019; Online ahead of print