Topical Tip #7: Using topical steroids

author/source: DrB


With The Combined Approach to chronic atopic eczema Level Two
requires optimal use of topical steroids.
Eczema and itch are effectively treated with steroid creams and ointments. The stronger the steroid the more effective it is. The appropriate strength is prescribed for the area of the body to be treated. Fear of side-effects - steroid phobia - often results in inadequate treatment, with frequent and rapid relapses. Side effects are not seen until after MANY months of treatment with strong steroids. There is more risk of developing chronic eczema with weak steroids, or with too short a treatment period, than of developing side effects from strong steroids.
Healing with topical steroids occurs in two stages (see below). When the skin first looks and feels good - The Look Good Point - there is still some hidden healing to accomplish. For chronic eczema using The Combined Approach the second stage is reached after 3-6 weeks: the second stage requires another two weeks of treatment with topical steroids. For acute eczema the same use of steroids gets best results too, but in days rather than weeks - don't forget the hidden healing!

  Use topical steroids...
     As prescribed !

     Don't stop too soon!



To get the best results with topical steroids use them as prescribed, and do not stop too soon: remember the hidden healing

If moisturiser is used often enough to prevent skin drying, for best results
apply topical steroids first, then cover thinly with moisturiser