Agreed - STEROIDS are infamous cause of their association with athletes for performance enhancement.
But a "TRUE" doctor will tell you about the medicinal impact. As doctors, we have to used steroids in skin creams/ nebuliser/ oral form for various allergic disorders (Allergy means dysfunctional response of body to certain things in environment or food-we call them 'allergens',and it releases chemicals that destroy our own system like it can cause cough,spasm/narrowing of airways,skin rash,sneezes ,pain in abdomen etc.
Actually body is supposed to release these against bacteria/viruses.Therefore,we have to calm down this response by giving chemical blockers(antihistaminics/antileukotriens) and most imp of them are steroids,which work on all arms of allergy and esp important of them is internalising of allergic cells so that they do not interact anymore with allergens in environment
HOW SAFE ARE THEY?
One has to see outcome of not treating allergic disorders in time on health of the patients V/S side effects of steroids. One chooses a pit over a deep valley(popularly known as KUA & KHAI)
oral r not affecting hormonal axis if used for less than 7 days/Inhalational form r safe upto 4-6 wks and we have a range of steroid salts with different potencies which r used judiciously by doctors as per risk benefit analysis.And no doubt,child specialists use mostly milder potencies.