Steroid Cream For Eczema | How To Apply Steroid Cream For Eczema | How To Use Steroid Cream Safely | How To Reduce Steroid Cream Side Effects | How To Use Moisturiser and Steroid Cream | What is A Fingertip Unit
Hey guys! This weeks video is about topical steroids, how to use them safely and properly. Topical steroids are used in addition to emollients (moisturisers) and are applied directly to the skin to reduce inflammation and irritation in various skin conditions such as eczema.
WHAT ARE TOPICAL STEROIDS:
Topical steroids work by reducing inflammation in the skin. They are used for various skin conditions including eczema. (Steroid medicines that reduce inflammation are sometimes called corticosteroids. They are very different to the anabolic steroids which are used by some bodybuilders and athletes.)
There are many types and brands of topical steroid. However, they are generally grouped into four categories depending on their strength – mild, moderately potent, potent and very potent. There are various brands and types in each category. For example, hydrocortisone cream 1% is a commonly used steroid cream and is classed as a mild topical steroid. The greater the strength (potency), the more effect it has on reducing inflammation but the greater the risk of side-effects with continued use.
Creams are usually best to treat moist or weeping areas of skin. Ointments are usually best to treat areas of skin which are dry or thickened. Lotions may be useful to treat hairy areas such as the scalp.
HOW TO APPLY TOPICAL STEROIDS:
Always follow your healthcare professionals instructions on how much to apply and how often.
Most people only need to use the medication once or twice a day for a week or two, although occasionally your doctor may suggest using it less frequently over a longer period of time.
The medication should only be applied to affected areas of skin. Gently smooth it into your skin in the direction the hair grows.
If you’re using both topical corticosteroids and emollients, you should apply the emollient first. Then wait about 15 minutes before applying the topical corticosteroid.
FINGER TIP UNITS:
The amount of topical steroid that you should apply is commonly measured by fingertip units (FTUs). One FTU is the amount of topical steroid that is squeezed out from a standard tube along an adult’s fingertip. (This assumes the tube has a standard 5 mm nozzle.) A fingertip is from the very end of the finger to the first crease in the finger.
One FTU is enough to treat an area of skin twice the size of the flat of an adult’s hand with the fingers together.
Two FTUs are about the same as 1 g of topical steroid. For example, say you treat an area of skin the size of eight adult hands. You will need four FTUs for each dose. (This is 2 g per dose. If the dose is once a day, then a 30 g tube should last for about 15 days of treatment.)
Please visit the following links for more information on topical steroids and the FTUs for different parts of the body:
Short courses of topical steroids (fewer than four weeks) are usually safe and usually cause no problems. Problems may develop if topical steroids are used for long periods, or if short courses of stronger steroids are repeated often. The main concern is if strong steroids are used on a long-term basis. Side-effects from mild topical steroids are uncommon.
Side-effects from topical steroids can either be local or systemic. Local means just affecting that bit of skin and systemic means affecting the whole person.
Please visit the links above for more information on topical steroids.
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Prescribing Media Pharmacist | Bringing Science Through New Film Every Monday | Extreme Optimist
I’m a British – Persian – Iranian prescribing media pharmacist who loves science, making videos and helping people. I work in both GP surgeries and community pharmacy.
This video is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Abraham The Pharmacist has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Always consult a doctor or other healthcare professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions.