What is the role of corticosteroids in the management of mastocytosis?

Updated: Jun 07, 2018
  • Author: Jacquiline Habashy, DO, MSc; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

Cutaneous lesions that involve a limited body area may be treated with a potent class 1 topical corticosteroid, with occlusion if required. Intralesional injections of small amounts of dilute corticosteroids may resolve skin lesions temporarily or indefinitely. The risk of skin atrophy and adrenocortical suppression resulting from the treatment is minimized by treating limited body areas during a single treatment session. Systemic corticosteroids are useful only in specific situations, such as ascites, malabsorption, and severe skin disease. Case reports have described complete remission of bullous mastocytosis with oral corticosteroids, [35] but systemic therapy is often disappointing because the primary mode of action of corticosteroids is redistribution rather than death of mast cells.


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