NEA forms Scientific Advisory Committee Task Force to study Topical Steroid Addiction

Over the past few years, the National Eczema Association (NEA) has received an increasing number of patient inquiries regarding what has been termed Topical Steroid Addiction (TSA), also known as Red Skin Syndrome (RSS). Dermatologists have also reported patient inquiries on the subject. Posts on NEA social media sites and other eczema channels have grown on TSA, instilling fear of TSA in many, while adding to the confusion eczema patients and caregivers experience. A non-profit group has formed, International Topical Steroid Addiction Network (, led by dermatologist Dr. Marvin Rapaport, whose mission is to raise awareness on TSA and provide resources to those who suffer TSA.

In response, NEA has formed a Task Force to conduct an in-depth review and create NEA position on Topical Steroid Addiction. ITSAN documentation of patient experiences with TSA has been submitted to the Task Force.

The Task Force process includes the following:

  1. Systematic Review (SR) of all papers describing topical steroid addiction/red skin syndrome:
    • How do you define steroid addiction?
    • What are the clinical findings of steroid addiction?
    • What do the skin lesions look like, how are they different than eczema?
    • Where on the body does it usually occur?
    • What strength of steroid and usage pattern leads to steroid addiction?
    • How is steroid addiction treated?
    • How common is steroid addiction syndrome?
  2. Quality assessment of the included papers
  3. Prepare Conclusions Document(s)
  4. Invite comments by Dr. Marvin Rapaport, SAC members, select medical experts and patients/caregivers.
  5. Prepare article/commentary/editorial for publication in dermatology literature.
  6. Produce patient-friendly NEA position statement/video on TSA for distribution on NEA communication channels.