How much ointment or topical cream to apply? Fingertip Units

How much topical skin cream, ointment we should apply on our skin for eczema treatment?

Well, since topical creams for eczema contain steroids, we should know the amount of ointment that should be applied, which is measured in terms of ‘fingertip units’.

What do topical steroids means?

Topical steroids are creams, ointments etc that contain steroid drugs. They reduce inflammation of 5the skin and are used to treat various forms of eczema. But since they contain steroids, we need to know about the amount of dose to apply while using them.

One Fingertip Unit (FTU)  equals to the quantity of topical steroids that squeezes out of a standard tube along with the fingertip of an adult, assuming the tube has the regular 5mm nozzle. A finger tip, is the distance from the top end of the finger to the first crease. One FTU is adequate to take care of an area of skin two times the extent of the flat of an adult's hand with the fingers together.

1 gram topical steroid is equal to two fingertip units. For instance, if you treat a skin area which is the size of 4 adult hands, then 2 FTU is enough for each dose. If the dose is once a day, then a 30 gram tube is enough for 15 day treatment course.

Here is the guide for topical steroid application for adults




Here is the guide for topical applications of skin ointment in children
For a 3-6 month old child
• Entire face and neck - 1 FTU
• An entire arm and hand - 1 FTU
• An entire leg and foot - 1.5 FTUs
• The entire front of chest and abdomen - 1 FTU
• The entire back including buttocks - 1.5 FTUs
For a 1-2 year old child
• Entire face and neck - 1.5 FTUs
• An entire arm and hand - 1.5 FTUs
• An entire leg and foot - 2 FTUs
• The entire front of chest and abdomen - 2 FTUs
• The entire back including buttocks - 3 FTUs
For a 3-5 year old child
• Entire face and neck - 1.5 FTUs
• An entire arm and hand - 2 FTUs
• An entire leg and foot - 3 FTUs
• The entire front of chest and abdomen - 3 FTUs
• The entire back including buttocks - 3.5 FTUs
For a 6-10 year old child
• Entire face and neck - 2 FTUs
• An entire arm and hand - 2.5 FTUs
• An entire leg and foot - 4.5 FTUs
• The entire front of chest and abdomen - 3.5 FTUs
• The entire back including buttocks - 5 FTUs

Read more about baby eczema

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