Topical Steroids in Eczema

Topical steroids used in eczema, are basically ointments, lotions and creams that contain steroids. They are used to reduce inflammation in skin conditions like eczema. Steroids are also known as corticosteroids. These topical steroids (corticosteroids) are different from anabolic steroids that are taken by body-builders and athletes for peak
performance.

Types of steroid creams

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There are many brands and types of corticosteroids for eczema treatment. They are classified into four categories: mild, moderately potent, potent and extremely potent. A commonly used steroid cream for eczema is hydrocortisone cream 1% known as mild topical steroid. The greater the potency of the ointment, the more powerfully it can treat eczema but unfortunately, the issue of side-effect is also more. Let us look at the side-effects of topical steroid creams for eczema


Difference between ointments, creams and lotions for skin treatment

:Ointments are used to treat dry or thick areas of the skin. Creams are for the moist areas of the skin. Lotions are used for hairy areas like the scalp.

How does topical steroid work?

Topical steroid works best in case of eczema-flare up. First it gets rid of the flare-up and then the doctor will tell you to stop the steroid treatment in 7-14 days and then switch on to a mild steroid or completely stop it.

In case, your eczema is just starting, then the dermatologist will ask you to take the mildest steroid like say hydrocortisone 1% (commonly given to children). If there is no improvement in the patient after 3 to 7 days, then the dermatologist may ask you to take a stronger steroid. For severe flare-up of eczema, potent steroids are prescribed.

Usually, a milder steroid is given for face eczema and a moderately strong eczema is given for eczema on thick areas like legs, arms etc. For very thick areas of the skin, like feet soles and palms, strong topical steroids may be given.

Check out the dosage of steroid creams to apply for eczema.


Using moisturizers with steroid creams for eczema

:Emollient moisturizer is different from topical steroids. In case, the doctor tells you to apply both, apply the moisturizer first and wait for 15 minutes before applying the topical steroids. This is because the emollient has to be absorbed first before the topical steroid is applied.

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