Topical Steroids for Eczema: What to Know

While emollients are the widely prescribed treatment for eczema, there are many people for whom steroid can work. Topical steroids are one of the common treatments for eczema flares. They are used alongside emollients in frequent intervals.

So, what is topical steroid? To understand this, let’s define them individually.

Topical means the products that are applied to the skin. Steroids are a compound of natural hormones, generated by the body by a variety of different glands. Medicines are also used to produce them artificially. However, topical steroids are different from those used in bodybuilding or contraceptive pills.

Topical steroids are effective medication for eczema. They minimize inflammation and redness, thereby controlling flares and promoting healing. Besides, they repair the skin barrier that is damaged by eczema.

They have been used to control inflammation for over 50 years.

When Topical Steroids are prescribed for Eczema?

Topical steroids are typically used to soothe eczema flares. They are available in different strength, ranging from mild to strong. Your physician prescribes them according to your skin condition. For example, you may be told to apply them for short bursts of treatment when the flares are on the rise. They are prescribed for 2 consecutive days for the people with more severe eczema.

How to Apply Topical Steroids?

Topical steroids are used 1-2 times a day to the areas being prone to active eczema or flaring. But they should be used once a day on the kids age 12 or less.

Make sure to use the correct amount of topical steroid or as prescribed by your physician. The hands should be cleaned before the application. They should be used at least 30 minutes before other treatment.

You may be prescribed more than one topical steroid to treat your eczema. For example, milder steroid may be recommended for the face or genital area while stronger one is for the other parts of the body. The soles of the feet are a different skin, thereby requiring a different strength of the steroid. A baby with severe eczema may require a stronger steroid than an adult with mild eczema. It is better to consult your doctor when in doubt.

Do They Cause Side-Effects?

Topical steroids are safe and effective if used as per the instructions. The risk of side effect is related to the potency of the preparation. The inappropriate use or prolong use can cause skin thinning, poor elasticity and stretch marks. It may trigger the unwanted hair growth of very fine hair on the skin.

What are the Types of Topical Steroids?

There are over 30 different topical steroids available for eczema. They vary in strength and effect. Generally, they are categorized into four different groups according to their potency:

  • Low Potency: Hydrocortisone and Prednisolone
  • Moderate Potency:Prednicarbate, Triamcinolone and Methylprednisolone
  • High Potency: Betamethasone and Mometasone
  • Ultra-High Potency: Cobetasol

How to Use Topical Steroids for Eczema?

They are more effective when used on wet skin. You can use them after bath. The effect is even potent if you cover the skin with a bandage or wet wrap after the application. This will boost the absorption rate of the steroids.

Should Moisturizer be used with Steroid Cream?

Definitely! Applying a moisturizer is important to restore the skin barrier. Eczema dries up the skin, making it difficult for the affected person to retain the skin moisture. Moisturizer helps the skin to restore the water. Applying it with your topical steroids boosts the effect of the both medication.

So you must have understood about topical steroids for eczema. Make sure to consult your doctor before using them. Want to ask anything else? Just drop down your query to the comment box given below.

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