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Corticosteroids are a class of natural or synthetic hormones. Natural corticosteroids are produced by the adrenal gland. They include mineralocorticoids and glucocorticoids. The principal mineralocorticoid is aldosterone, which helps maintain blood pressure and the balance of water and salt in the body by helping the kidney retain sodium and excrete potassium. The principal glucocorticoid is cortisol, which
Synthetic corticosteroids are used to treat a variety of skin disorders. They are available in different strengths. Mild topical corticosteroids (e.g., Hydrocortisone 0.5%) can be bought without prescription. Higher potency corticosteroids require prescription, because they may have side effects such as thinning of the skin.
The following is a partial list of topical corticosteroids.