Steroid Creams For Eczema

The use of topical steroid creams is a common method of treatment. When a flare-up occurs, it will result in red, itchy skin that is sore and scaly. While scratching with your fingers may provide temporary relief, it can actually make the condition worse and the itch will return shortly afterwards.

Throughout my childhood I was using hydrocortisone and betamethasone ointments to give relief. By learning about the way that these creams work, you can then liaise with your doctor to determine if it is the right choice for your skin care plan.

How It Works

When you apply a steroid cream to a flare-up, it works by reducing the inflammation of the skin, relieving irritation, and thus helping the skin to begin the healing process. All of these things are necessary in order for the skin condition to clear up.

The steroid used to treat eczema is called a corticosteroid, and the way that this type of cream or ointment works is very complex in nature. However, the basic mechanism behind this cream is that it changes the way that the cells function within the body, and reduces the amount of inflammation that occurs to the skin. By reducing the inflammation, many of the irritating symptoms will subside.

The Pros

Steroid creams for eczema
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Using steroids to treat eczema is a great therapy method, because this type of cream is available in many strengths, and it allows people of varying ages to get the treatment they need for their unique case.

Also, many times a person will have a hard time healing from eczema because the side-effects of the condition make it difficult to avoid scratching. A person with eczema will scratch the area and cause the skin to become more irritated.

By applying this cream and allowing it to ease the symptoms, skin is able to heal at a much faster rate, and other treatment methods that are used for the condition will then be much more effective.


The use of steroids on the skin involves a few risks. Thinning of the skin is a risk that comes along with long term usage, which is one of the reasons why doctors generally try to treat eczema with cream that is the lowest strength possible. Some people experience an adverse effect, and instead of the skin getting thinner, it actually gets thicker and darker in appearance when the cream is applied.

Problems with the adrenal glands can also occur when the cream is absorbed in high amounts through the skin. This side-effect is more commonly seen in young children, due to their skin's ability to rapidly absorb creams and lotions. Also, while using this type of cream is a great way to treat the symptoms of eczema, it is not a solution to the problem. Topical therapy only provides short-term relief, which means other treatment methods need to be used in conjunction with a steroid cream.

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