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Online clinic on skin conditions - Sept 2018

British Skin Foundation raise money to fund research for cures for skin disease and skin cancer etc
Action Against Allergy (AAA) provides information, advice and support to those made chronically ill through the many different forms of allergy and those who care for them.

talkhealth > Clinics > Online Clinics Index > Online clinic on skin conditions - Sept 2018 > Eczema & Dry Skin

Eczema & Dry Skin

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Continuous use of steroid cream

Postby Kirsty01 on Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:28 pm


My son has had eczema since a couple months old, he is now 15 months and although it does not appear to be as bad as it was initially I feel we are continuously using steroid cream.

We were advised to use it for a couple of months starting every day and then reducing but as soon as we stopped using it and used emollients to manage his skin flare up again. We are now in a cycle of using it for a week then off for a week or so then back on it.

I am concerned about this continuous use but it does appear to be the only thing that will clear his skin and the itch. Is there an alternative we could look to using or am I worrying over nothing?

He has atopic and discoid eczema

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Re: Continuous use of steroid cream

Postby Wendy Green on Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:37 pm

Hi Kirsty,

It's good that you are looking for alternative ways to manage your son's eczema, rather than simply relying on hydrocortisone cream.

You could try using toiletries and washing powders etc designed for sensitive skin, as these don't contain the harsh chemicals that can irritate the skin and trigger eczema flare-ups. Please read this reply I posted earlier for further information viewtopic.php?f=1065&t=26678#p48457

You could also try keeping a diary to try and identify what triggers your son's eczema. For example, your son may have an allergy to milk and dairy products. If you suspect certain foods/drinks exacerbate your son's symptoms it would be worth discussing your concerns with your GP. However, don't cut out whole food groups without seeking medical advice first, as it could lead to your son going short of important nutrients.

I note that your son's eczema is not as bad now as it was initially - which suggests that he may well grow out of it within the next year or two. However, if you try the above suggestions and don't notice an improvement in your son's symptoms I'd recommend seeing your GP for further advice, or a referral to a dermatologist.
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Wendy Green
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Re: Continuous use of steroid cream

Postby Julie Van Onselen on Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:16 pm

Hi Kirsty
I am sorry to hear that your son has eczema which is not been controlled with Hydrocortisone ( the weakest steroid cream). You don't need to worry about long term effects using hydrocortisone cream and the reason his eczema keeps flaring is more like to be that the steroid needs to be matched to the severity of eczema.
I would recommend you return to your GP for reassessment, if a moderate steroid cream used for 7 days once a day and then reduced to every other day for a week does not clear his eczema flare, then maybe look for other triggers. NICE guidance recommends only looking for dietary factors if mild to moderate steroids do not control eczema or there is an immediate reaction to food.
Remember to keep using emollients for washing and moisturising even when the skin is clear.It is important to manage eczema with short bursts of topical steroids and everyday use of emoilleints.
I hope this helps.
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