rich emollient used in the management of eczema, psoriasis and other dry skin conditions.


I have just had my six monthly checkup with my Dermatologist, Dr John Reed at Oxford Churchill Hospital. We were discussing his insistence that using steroids more frequently to dampen down and reduce inflammation would help my skin. It’s a tough one, I always want to follow his advice but there is always a voice inside my head saying, “Don’t use the steroids… they’re evil… they will thin your skin… you don’t need them…”

I think he knows this. He probably sees this reluctance in a lot of his eczema patients.

Well he had me rolling on the floor laughing with his dance floor analogy.

Picture a crowded dance floor. You know the kind. Too many drunk people pushing and shoving, elbows in ribs, arms flailing. You can’t have a relaxing time on a rammed dance floor. John likened this to inflammation on the skin of a person with eczema. The more inflammation there is, the more chances there are for flare-ups, irritation, allergens entering open dry areas of skin and itching.

So anything you can do to reduce inflammation, ie. experimenting with using a low dose of topical steroid on trouble areas twice a week for a 2-3 months could really help to clear out the dance floor.

My skin is fed of being in the mosh pit.

I want to be waltzing around that dance floor. Not doing the Gangnam style.

So here goes… Twice a week, I am going to apply Elocon topical steroid to my arms, legs and back. Once midweek and once at the weekend.

Then I just need to learn how to waltz! ?

I have also got lots of things to think about… from my meeting with dermos and Liane Reeves, my dietician.

  • UVB treatment if I can find somewhere local to do this. Oxford would be too far to travel 3 times a week for 3 months!
  • Methotrexate – an oral immune suppressant. Does anyone know anything about this or have been treated with it?
  • Regular preventative use of Elocon steroid ointment (see above)
  • Try a multivitamin – but always check ingredients
  • Check out Culturelle or Lactobacilus Rhamonisis GG which ‘might’ be giving infants some protection from eczema. What harm could it do to try it as adult?




An allergy and health writer and freelance copywriter, Ruth is passionate about helping those with allergies and food intolerances take control, embrace their condition, and learn to live with and love who they are. It can be very lonely finding you have allergies and discovering what helps you can be a life long journey. What works for one person won't work for another, so after trying nearly every allergy treatment under the sun and finding hours of research necessary to keep abreast of what's going on, Ruth started writing her blog, What Allergy? in April 2009. Ruth has life threatening allergies herself to all nuts, all diary, tomatoes and celery and knows first-hand what it's like to have an anaphylactic attack. Voted in the Top 5 UK allergy blogs by Cision UK in 2011, What Allergy is packed full of interesting articles, hints and tips and product reviews which are a must read for anyone with allergies, food intolerances or sensitivities, asthma and eczema. From subjects such as "What is celery allergy?" to "Surviving a holiday abroad with allergies", it's packed with useful and interesting information. You can register free for a weekly newsletter by visiting her website and also keep in touch by following her on Facebook and Twitter.

One Response to My dermatologist said ‘Clear the dance floor’.

  1. Lucy Cassels

    Hi Ruth sorry you are having skin problems. I just want to tell you that I used Elocon for years and am now 17mths into the withdrawal from topical steroids and its Hell. I am shocked that I was given a repeat prescription for it and now have no life at all and this could last years. I you want to know more about steroid and its effects you can look at I really wish someone had warned me.

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