The skin irritation from eczema can range from mild to severe. Topical steroids are often advised to assist with skin healing and to clear the redness. In some cases, an oral steroid will be employed when cases are moderate to severe. When used topically, generally the cream is applied from five to fourteen days. In addition to this, it is important to also use a moisturizing cream twice a day as well. I had not been advised to do this when I had nummular eczema till I saw a third doctor. Moisturizing made a very dramatic difference in my skin’s ability to heal.
Keep in mind that the cortisone creams used are called corticosteroids and this is distinct from steroids that are used for those who try to gain muscle or increase athletic success. Hydrocortisone and other mild creams are only one percent and are designed to cut the inflammation down. Nonetheless, cortisone creams can thin the skin so most are used for three weeks and then a break is given to the skin. When the eczema is over a large portion of the body, the physician may give a more mild cream for the face than other sections to work with the skin location and severity of symptoms.
Some people make the mistake of applying the topical steroid to the larger area near the inflamed skin. Unlike mositurizers, the cortisone lotions are supposed to just be applied to the irritated areas. The cream has strong inflammation reduction properties and is best applied just on the problematical sections of skin directly.
There are a few reasons why the steroid topicals are watched closely and used for a few weeks before discontinuing. For kids long term use may effect their growth. Some of the topical may be absorbed into the blood stream. Also using it can cause the skin to discolor and some people’s skin develops marks that look similar to stretch marks. If you suffer from acne or other conditions, the skin may worsen. Skin thinning is something to watch out for which is why most dermatologists recommend taking a break after three weeks and re-evaluating the situation. Using it only on the eczema bumps and patches is also important.
In alternating the steroid cream and a moisturizing lotion wait a few hours so that the two don’t mix together. If the skin is highly lubricated the cortisone cream won’t absorb. Don’t neglect a good moisturizer as that has been key to many people’s recovery from eczema skin condition.