Concern about adverse outcomes with the use of systemic postnatal corticosteroids (PCS) for bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) have led to the widespread use of alternative methods of administration in research and clinical care. Theoretically, administration of topical (directly to the lung) corticosteroids may allow for beneficial effects on the pulmonary system with a lower risk of undesirable side effects compared with systemic administration. Current evidence suggests that inhaled corticosteroids may be an effective therapy in the management of developing BPD in preterm infants, but questions about their safety remain. An alternative to inhalation is the intratracheal administration of corticosteroids using surfactant as a vehicle, but this approach has only been studied in a limited number of infants. We review the evidence for the short-term clinical efficacy and safety of inhaled, nebulized and intratracheal PCS for the prevention and treatment of BPD.