The steroids are hormones that fulfill various functions in the body. The corticosteroids are a kind of steroids with enormous anti-inflammatory properties. They are used in the treatment of various skin diseases such as eczema, psoriasis, skin rash, etc. The corticosteroids can be taken orally, injected or topically applied. A topical steroid cream is handy in use and has quick effect. However, the corticosteroids do not need to be confused with anabolic steroids that build muscle mass and increase physical performance.

Topical steroid cream

A steroid cream is applied directly to the affected skin areas. It has several advantages over the oral medications. In oral use, steroid sluggishly pervades its path through the body. On the other hand, the topical steroids enter the body directly through the skin and thus act quickly. The cortisone creams contain carrier oils that improve the adaptation of steroid to the skin. The steroid cream reduces inflammation and alleviates other symptoms such as itching, stinging pain, etc. This cream is very effective against severe skin diseases such as eczema, psoriasis. Although it does not cure the cause of eczema in the proper sense, it alleviates their symptoms. Since, for example, the itching no longer occurs, one will scratch less, which ultimately prevents the spread of infection. If the skin is already infected, the steroid creams can be used with the antibiotics or antiseptic drugs.

Effectiveness of steroid creams

The effectiveness of steroid skin creams is determined by the active ingredients and the concentration of the carrier oils. The topical steroids are classified into 7 groups according to their strength. Group I comprises steroids with maximum efficacy, whereas those in group VII are the least potent. In the case of steroid treatment, the physician will often prescribe cortisone creams of the lowest grade and see to what extent they are effective for you. The concentration can be increased stepwise when the steroid of a low level has proved ineffective. Most patients with eczema are initially prescribed hydrocortisone (1%) as a pretreatment option. You do not have to take the steroids of a higher level or use the OTC steroid cream for more than a week, unless recommended by the doctor. If the cream shows no improvement or, worse still, the condition of the skin deteriorates, an alternative treatment must be proposed. So if this steroid cream has not proven to be effective for you, you probably need to choose a higher-level steroid cream or a completely different treatment option.

Side effects of steroid creams

Excessive and prolonged use of steroid creams is not recommended for several reasons. They often show higher efficacy only for a short time as one or two weeks and only alleviate occasional flare of symptoms. Mild steroid creams can be used longer. However, there is still a risk of developing some side effects. Thinner skin, skin discolouration, pregnancy strips are some possible side effects of the steroid creams. If you notice any of these side effects, or your problem gets worse, you should consult a dermatologist immediately. Excessive use of steroid creams is also associated with cancer. Therefore, the steroid creams should be used with care.

The steroid creams are indeed very effective in the treatment of skin diseases. However, before using steroid creams for skin rashes or other skin conditions, consult your dermatologist. You may want to make an epicutest test to determine if a steroid treatment suits your skin. This minimizes the risk of possible side effects.

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