High blood levels of cortisol during critical illness could theoretically be protective because of several reasons. They modulate metabolism (for example, by inducing high blood sugar levels, thereby providing energy to the body). They also suppress excessive immune system activation and exert supporting effects on the circulatory system .   Increased susceptibility to infections, hyperglycemia (in patients already prone to stress hyperglycemia ), gastrointestinal bleeding , electrolyte disturbances and steroid-induced myopathy (in patients already prone to critical illness polyneuropathy ) are possible harmful effects. 
There is no evidence of safe and effective use of topical corticosteroids in pregnant mothers. Therefore, they should be used only if clearly needed. Long term use and large applications of topical corticosteroids may cause birth defects in the unborn. It is not known whether topical corticosteroids enter breast milk. Therefore, caution must be exercised before using it in nursing mothers. Topical corticosteroids should not be applied to the breasts of nursing mothers unless the mothers instructed to do so by the physician.