Can topical steroids be applied at the same time as emollients?

· London and South East Regional Medicines Information Service

The optimal order and timing of application of emollients and topical steroids is not known. There is a theoretical risk that if the topical steroid is applied immediately after the emollient or vice versa then there is a risk of diluting the steroid or possibly transferring it to areas that do not require treatment. General consensus opinion is conflicting and is based on anecdotal evidence; further studies are required to clarify this issue.