HomeAnswersDermatologyhyperpigmentationI have darkened skin due to steroid use. Please help.

What can be done for hyperpigmentation due to steroid ointment?


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Published At July 24, 2018
Reviewed AtFebruary 16, 2024

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

I have eczema and over the years doctors have provided me a steroid ointment which I have been using. The side effects were darkening of the skin. Wondering if there is a solution since now my skin has become really dark on my face and neck. Also, I have hyper-pigmentation all over my cheeks and nose that makes me look like I have freckles and over the years I have noticed them turn darker especially when going to hot places.

Answered by Dr. Sushil Kakkar


Welcome to icliniq.com.

I have noted your concern and I have viewed the images (attachment removed to protect patient identity).You seem to have acne along with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) from previously healed acne. Acne is a well-known side effect of steroid creams. So perhaps your acne and resultant dark spots are the side effects of the indiscriminate use of topical steroids. Therefore I suggest you first discontinue the steroid cream. For your dark spots, you may use a skin-lightening cream like a Kojic acid-based cream (Kojic cream). Use it twice daily over dark spots and hyperpigmentation. For your acne, I suggest you use Clindamycin gel for daytime and Benzoyl peroxide gel for night application. In addition, I would also suggest you take an oral Tetracycline or Doxycycline 100 mg capsule, twice daily.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Sushil Kakkar
Dr. Sushil Kakkar


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