Do you or a love one has eczema? We understand how it can be irritating, or even painful sometimes. But here’s the thing there is a lot of prescription steroid cream for eczema that may help you or your loved one manage this skin condition. Read on and know more about these steroid creams and how it can make life easier for you or your loved one.
It’s summertime! The heat is on!
While it would have been nice to stroll around the beach and get some tan and enjoy the summer sun, people with eczema just can’t.
Unfortunately, the weather condition could trigger eczema.
We totally feel you! We understand how jealous you could get or how badly you feel of not being able to enjoy the supposedly simple things just because it triggers eczema.
While it has been nice, you are left with no choice but stay cool and as much as possible, stay out of the sun.
However, eczema flare-ups do not only occur during the hot summer weather. In fact, whether it is hot or cold, eczema symptoms could just show up. Good thing though, there is reliable prescription steroid cream for eczema that you can rely on. Something to help you deal with this skin condition anytime, anywhere.
Just as you may be wondering, what eczema is really? Well, let’s tackle that now.
What is eczema?
Also known as atopic dermatitis, eczema is a chronic, recurrent skin condition that commonly transpires in early childhood and could either stop along the way or can continue or start in adulthood.
Eczema is a medical condition where patches of skin become inflamed, rough, red, and itchy. In some cases, it even causes bleeding, resulting from a reaction to irritation. Unlike other skin conditions, eczema is not contagious.
Eczema is actually very common that according to statistics, it’s affecting over 30 million people in the United States alone. According to some studies, although not generally, eczema, like asthma and allergies could run in the blood.
What are the different types of eczema?
Eczema comes in seven different types, and they are:
- Atopic Dermatitis – This is the most common type of eczema. It usually forms up from childhood, and it can range from mild eczema to a severe one. Based on research, it isn’t surprising for a child to develop eczema if one of his or her parents had it as well.
Kids with atopic dermatitis are said to have a higher risk of food sensitivity. Most often, they are also prone to develop hay fever, as well as asthma.
The good thing is, some kids who had atopic dermatitis early on may grow out of eczema.
Symptoms of atopic dermatitis include patches of inflamed, red, and itchy skin. Rashes, hives, and small, red bumps may also appear. Usually, it appears on the face, neck, and wrist, as well as elbows and knees.
- Contact Dermatitis – This refers to the type of eczema that does happen when the person gets into contact with certain substances.
Common symptoms of contact dermatitis include dry, red, and itchy skin, as well as hives, and rashes similar to that of atopic dermatitis.
There are two types of contact dermatitis. They are irritant contact dermatitis, which is a result of repeated exposure to certain substances that aggravates the skin, and allergic dermatitis, which pertains to when a person’s immune system reacts to certain substances called allergens.
- Discoid Eczema – Unlike other types of eczema, which is like the same, this type is very recognizable because it comes in disc-shaped patches. But like any other type of eczema, this too is red and itchy. Your skin may also look cracked and swollen.
Discoid eczema usually appears on the lower legs, as well as forearms and torso. In some cases, it goes like a ring of red skin because the disc would clear up. Regardless of age, you may develop having discoid eczema.
- Dyshidrotic Eczema – It’s also known as pompholyx eczema. This type of eczema usually appears on adult people below 40 years old. It often appears on the hands and feet.
The symptoms of dyshidrotic eczema include intense itching, as well as the formation of small blisters. There are cases when blisters are large and watery. In this case, it could be a little alarming as it could lead to infection, which can be painful and could lead to swelling.
The thing about this type of eczema is, it does not have a definite cause. Although some common things among people with dyshidrotic eczema are that they get hay fever, as well as a fungal skin infection. If you have a family history with dyshidrotic eczema, you would most likely to develop one.
- Varicose eczema – It is also known as gravitational, venous, or stasis eczema. It’s a very common type of eczema that appears in older people particularly those with varicose veins.
Symptoms of varicose eczema may include hot, itchy spots or blisters, dry and scaly skin, weepy and crusty patched, as well as cracked skin.
- Asteatotic Eczema – Asteatotic eczema is also known as xerotic eczema and eczema craquelé. This type of eczema affects people who are 60 years old and above. Medical experts say, this may be caused by the persons aging skin, which often becomes drier as it age.
Asteatotic eczema usually appears in the lower legs. But in other cases, it may also appear on other parts of the body. Its symptoms include cracked, dry skin, scaling, pink or red cracks or grooves, as well as itching and soreness of the skin.
- Seborrheic Dermatitis – It’s a common condition that causes red, itchy, and flaky rash on the skin. In most cases, the rash appears swollen or raised. Apart from that, a yellowish or white crust may also form on its surface.
It is common for seborrheic dermatitis to develop in oily areas of the skin like ears, scalp, eyelids, face, eyebrows, armpits, genitals, as well as upper chest and back.
The thing about this type of eczema is that it can affect people regardless of age. For instance, a cradle cap, which appears on babies’ scalp is a type of seborrheic dermatitis. This usually disappears after a few months.
Unlike babies, when this type of eczema occurs on adult people particularly between the age of 30 and 60, it has no cure and most likely, they will experience flare-ups from time to time.
How to treat eczema?
Generally speaking, there really is no specific thing that helps treat eczema. However, there are ways to help prevent triggers of eczema, as well as ways to help you cope with flare-ups because of eczema.
To help prevent flare-ups, the first priority should be to avoid triggers of itching. For instance, avoid wearing clothes that are proven to be skin irritants like nylon, wool, and other synthetic materials. When it comes to clothing, people with eczema are highly encouraged to wear cotton clothing, which should be washed using a mild detergent or those specifically made detergents to prevent eczema triggers.
Being cautious with sun exposure is another thing. Too much sun exposure may lead to sunburn – that has to be avoided if you have eczema. But if you really need to, applying sunscreen may help.
Other ways to help avoid flare-ups are staying away from allergens – it could be food or environmental allergens. Good skincare could also help – like putting moisturizer as well as keeping your skin hydrated.
However, in some cases, people need topical creams or steroids to help ease out the symptoms of eczema.
What is prescription steroid cream for eczema?
Obviously, prescription steroid cream for eczema are creams that need a doctor’s prescription. These are creams that you cannot buy easily over-the-counter.
To be more certain, topical treatments or steroid treatments for eczema relates to the medications that are applied to the skin to help manage symptoms of eczema, and also, to help reduce inflammation. There are various types of prescription steroid cream for eczema, which we will be talking about more later on.
The main purpose of prescription steroid cream for eczema is to help ease redness and reduce inflammation as mentioned above, as well as itching. That way, your skin will start healing.
Steroids have been used for more than 50 years already in topical medications or medications that are applied to the skin to help in treating different kinds of inflammatory skin conditions like eczema.
What are available prescription steroid creams for eczema?
There are a lot of different types of prescription steroid cream for eczema. They come in different forms like ointment, lotion, spray, and the most commonly used, creams.
Generally, topical steroids are classified depending on their strength. It ranges from “super-potent” of Class 1 to “least potent” or Class 7. They come in both branded and generic versions. Depending on your situation, like if your doctor thinks it is very important to treat your eczema with a specific steroid formulation, then most likely, your doctor will not prescribe you with the generic ones.
According to VeryWellHealth.com, here are some examples of the most commonly used topical steroids for eczema from each group according to class.
Topical steroids are typically separated into 7 groups based on the level of potency, with group 1 being the strongest and group 7 being the weakest. The following are examples of commonly used topical steroids from each group:
Topical Steroid Class 1 (highest potency):
Clobetasol propionate 0.05% (Temovate)
Halbetasol propionate 0.05% (Ultravate cream, ointment, lotion)
Diflorasone diacetate 0.05% (Psorcon ointment)
Betamethasone dipropionate 0.25% (Diprolene ointment, gel)
Topical Steroid Class 2 (highly potent):
Fluocinonide 0.05% (Lidex cream, gel, ointment, solution)
Halcinonide 0.1% (Halog cream, ointment, solution)
Amcinonide 0.1% (Cyclocort ointment)
Desoximetasone 0.25% (Topicort cream, ointment)
Triamcinolone acetonide 0.5% (Kenalog cream, ointment)
Topical Steroid Class 3 (potent):
Amcinonide 0.1% (Cyclocort cream, lotion)
Mometasone furoate 0.1% (Elocon ointment)
Fluticasone propionate 0.005% (Cutivate ointment)
Betamethasone dipropionate 0.05% (Betanate cream)
Topical Steroid Class 4 (moderately potent):
Fluocinolone acetonide 0.025% (Synalar cream, ointment)
Flurandrenolide 0.05% (Cordran cream, ointment, lotion)
Triamcinolone acetonide 0.1% (Triderm cream, ointment, lotion)
Mometasone furoate 0.1% (Elocon cream, lotion, solution)
Fluticasone propionate 0.05% (Cutivate cream)
Topical Steroid Class 5 (somewhat potent):
Hydrocortisone valerate 0.2% (Westcort cream, ointment)
Hydrocortisone butyrate 0.1% (Locoid ointment)
Prednicarbate 0.1% (Dermatop cream, ointment)
Hydrocortisone probutate 0.1% (Pandel cream)
Topical Steroid Class 6 (mild):
Desonide 0.05% (Lokara lotion, Desonate gel, Desowen cream, ointment)
Fluocinolone acetonide 0.01% (Synalar cream, solution, shampoo)
Hydrocortisone butyrate 0.1% (Locoid cream, lotion, solution)
Topical Steroid Class 7 (least potent):
Hydrocortisone 2.5% (Hytone cream/lotion)
Hydrocortisone 1% (Many over-the-counter brands of creams, ointments, lotions)
Hydrocortisone acetate 0.5% and 1% (Anusol-HC, Proctocream-HC, Proctosol HC cream)
What is Topical Calcineurin Inhibitors?
According to VeryWellHealth.com, topical calcineurin inhibitors or TCIs are “are nonsteroidal medications that are applied to the parts of the skin affected by eczema.”
They work by preventing a piece of the immune system from “switching on,” which helps to stop it from producing eczema symptoms like itchiness and redness.
The good thing about TCIs is that it can be applied to all eczema-affected areas including eyelids. TCIs can also be used for a prolonged period of time to help control symptoms of eczema and to help reduce flare-ups. Unlike other medications, it TCIs do not cause certain side effects that are related to the overuse of steroid such as skin discoloration, stretch marks, etc.
However, some of the most common side effects of using TCI include mild burning or stinging sensation when applied to the skin.
We highly recommend though that you ask your attending physician for a thorough explanation about the medication he or she has prescribed before using it.
For your reference, here are a few reminders when using TCIs:
– Use it only on the areas of the skin with eczema.
– TCI is not allowed for use on children below two years of age.
– TCI must not be used together with phototherapy treatments.
– When using TCI, make sure to cover and protect your skin especially when there is direct sunlight.
What is Topical PDE4 Inhibitor?
Apart from TCIs, we also mentioned earlier of another type of medication for eczema, the topical PDE4 inhibitor.
This medication helps block an enzyme called phosphodiesterase 4 or PDE4 from permitting too much inflammation in the body. At the moment, there is only one topical PDE4 inhibitor for eczema that is approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration. It’s called, Eucrisa or crisaborole. This medication is used to treat mild to moderate cases of eczema. It is, however, is only for people aged 2 years old and above.
Reminders When Using Prescription Steroid Cream for Eczema
When using topical steroids to help treat eczema, please do take note of the following important reminders:
– Make sure to only apply the steroid cream to the affected area according to your doctor’s prescription.
– Never use the steroid more than what is prescribed by your doctor. Normally, topical steroids are used once a day only, which is supposedly is enough.
– The secret to ensuring the effectivity of topical steroids is to apply it to the affected area of the skin within three minutes after taking a bath.
– Avoid the use of large quantities of steroids for a long time.
– Never ever use topical steroids as a moisturizer. That’s a big no-no.
– After applying steroids, you put moisturizer on top.
– Be extra careful when applying steroids on certain areas of the skin that are sensitive like the genitals, face, raw or thin skin, as well as areas that rub together like the area beneath the breasts or the area between the buttocks or thighs. Also, note that these areas absorb more medication.
– In cases when there is a need to apply a dressing over the areas of the skin where you put steroids, make sure to use dressings with topical steroids only as advised by your doctor.
– Lastly, once you see that the inflammation is already under control, you should immediately stop or reduce the use of the steroid.
What are the risks of using steroids in treating eczema?
Just like any other medications, prescription steroid cream for eczema also has its share of side effects. That is why it is important to note that this type of medication is safest when used according to the doctor’s prescription – meaning, with the right quantity and for an appropriate period of time.
To give you an idea, some of the most common side effects of using steroids are:
– Skin thickening or lichenification
– Stretch marks or striae
– Thinning of the skin or atrophy
– Darkening of the color of the skin on the affected area
Other less common but more serious side effects of topical steroids are:
– Tiny pink bumps on the skin
– Red, pus-filled hair follicles
– Topical steroid addiction of withdrawal
– Adrenal suppression
To wrap it all up, obviously, eczema is not an ordinary skin condition. It’s something one could outgrow or has to deal with for the rest of his or her life.
While it can be frustrating sometimes because it limits what you can do with your body, the good thing is, there are ways to help you deal with it like various prescription steroid cream for eczema. Through these creams, you get to at least heal from various symptoms of eczema.
But of course, just like any other medications, make sure to talk about options with your doctor and follow him or her prescription religiously to avoid unnecessary threats.