Apoquel does suppress the immune system hence the fear of infections from some vets. But it's not considered a steroid, even though it does have a steroid type of component.

Honestly, I love it. Like @BodiesMom the itch isn't 100% gone, but it's bearable. Neither dog is scratching themselves red or bloody, and the paw licking is under control now so I'm able to apply meds. without
them licking it off. Blue's swollen pink paws (almost became cysts) are no longer swollen or very pink. That's huge for us.