Short-term side effects of oral PUVA may include sunburn, nausea and vomiting, itching, abnormal hair growth, and too much repigmentation or darkening of the treated patches or the normal surrounding skin (hyperpigmentation). If received for longer periods of time, this type of treatment may increase your risk of skin cancer. To avoid sunburn and reduce your risk of skin cancer, you'll need to apply sunscreen and avoid direct sunlight for 24 to 48 hours after each treatment. Wear protective UVA sunglasses for 18 to 24 hours after each treatment to avoid eye damage, particularly cataracts.
Pharmacokinetic studies in men with Topicort® (desoximetasone) Ointment % with tagged desoximetasone showed no detectable level (limit of sensitivity: μg/mL) in 1 subject and and μg/mL in the remaining 2 subjects in the blood when it was applied topically on the back followed by occlusion for 24 hours. The extent of absorption for the ointment was 7% based on radioactivity recovered from urine and feces . Seven days after application, no further radioactivity was detected in urine or feces. Studies with other similarly structured steroids have shown that predominant metabolite reaction occurs through conjugation to form the glucuronide and sulfate ester.
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.