Tips on using a steroid cream or ointment

Tips on using a steroid cream or ointment

Use the most effective steroid cream or ointment and use for as short a time as possible, preferably only 2 or 3 days but no longer than 2-4 weeks. Steroid use, including topical steroids, can cause permanent damage and thinning of skin. This is especially important in areas where skin is already thin such as on the face and around the eyes.

Topical corticosteroids are creams, gels or ointments containing corticosteroids. Corticosteroids are hormones that can reduce inflammation (redness and swelling), suppress the immune system and narrow the blood vessels in the skin. Their main purpose is to reduce skin inflammation and irritation.

Using steroid skin treatments for eczema

The length of cream or ointment expelled from a tube may be used to specify the quantity to be applied to a given area of skin. This length can be measured in terms of a fingertip unit (the distance from the tip of the adult index finger to the first crease). One fingertip unit (approximately 500 mg from a tube with a standard 5 mm diameter nozzle) is sufficient to cover an area that is twice that of the flat adult handprint (palm and fingers).

  • When used as instructed by your pharmacist or doctor, corticosteroids are a safe and effective treatment for discoid eczema.
  • Topical corticosteroids are medicines applied directly to the skin to treat conditions such as eczema or psoriasis.
  • For these reasons, triamcinolone is not typically implicated in the manifestation or exacerbation of psychiatric symptoms.
  • Mum-of-two Annie Geffrey, 35, is an administrator from Hertfordshire who’s hand eczema left her with swollen red and cracked hands after repeated steroid use.
  • It’s very unlikely that other medicines – either prescribed or ones you buy from a pharmacy or shop – will affect the way hydrocortisone works.

They will be able to advise you on the best course of treatment for your condition. Read our guide for more information on how to moisturise your scalp. A good example of moderate-strength steroid cream is Eumovate. Eumovate is available from The Independent Pharmacy as a cream or ointment and helps to relieve symptoms related to conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and insect bites.

Prescription fees

‘Topical steroids come in different strengths from mild to very potent. The stronger they are, the more they can reduce inflammation, but care must be taken as continued use of high-strength steroids is more likely to result in side effects. There were very few people who had it and mostly those using stronger steroid creams, but there needs to be more research on this. You must have a confirmed diagnosis of eczema from your GP and have been prescribed steroid creams or ointments in the past to order them from Dr Fox.

Steroid Creams

Dan is an experienced pharmacist having spent time working in both primary and secondary care. He currently supports our clinical team by providing robust clinical governance review of our internal processes and information. Hydrocortisone does not make you sleepy, so it’s safe to drive, ride a bike, or use tools and machinery when using this medicine. No, you can eat and drink normally while using hydrocortisone.

The steroid reduces inflammation, which helps to restore the barrier function of the skin. Stronger steroids are used where inflammation is very active and severe. Steroid creams are good for wet/weeping eczema whilst ointments are useful on thick and dry areas of skin.

How to use topical corticosteroids

Your doctor or nurse will prescribe the correct strength (potency) and amount to help you get control of your eczema. What they give you will depend on how itchy and sore your skin is, and whether the eczema has made your skin ‘thick’. When the skin is thick, a stronger steroid cream can help bring the skin back to normal.You may need to step up or step down between different strengths of steroid creams as you get control of your eczema.

Sometimes eczema can still be under the skin even when it looks OK. Using the cream for two more days will help make sure you treat all of it. No, there is no evidence that steroid creams make eczema worse long-term.

Eczema — take control of your flare-ups

There are different types and strengths of flare control cream. It can feel frustrating when eczema isn’t getting better even when you are using the treatments as you’ve been told to. This section looks at how you can find a flare control cream that is right for you. Sometimes people use more flare control cream to try to make eczema go away quicker.

Topical corticosteroids are medicines applied directly to the skin to treat conditions such as eczema or psoriasis. Patients can experience topical steroid withdrawal reactions after using these products at least daily for long periods of time. It is not unusual for skin conditions to flare up or return shortly after stopping topical corticosteroids. However, very infrequently, a severe type of topical steroid withdrawal reaction can occur, which may also be known as red skin syndrome or topical steroid addiction.