How To Apply Topical Corticosteroids

Topical corticosteroids are used for local or generalized skin disorders. The effects depend on the type of skin you have and the medicine being used.
How to apply topical corticosteroids

Be careful if you use topical corticosteroids for some skin conditions. There are two common situations. One is the fear of using these drugs and the other is the possible reactions that can occur if one uses them.

The fear of using corticosteroids comes from thinking that they may have side effects reminiscent of those of systematic corticosteroids, even if used topically.

Some of the side effects of systematic corticosteroids are swelling, weight gain and the risk of developing osteoporosis. However, one should know that  if one abuses topical corticosteroids, then they can have similar effects. This is actually especially the case if they are very powerful or if one needs to use them in larger areas.

On the other hand, the tachyphylaxis that you may experience comes from corticosteroid abuse. This happens because it helps and you will get better when you use it. Because of that, one repeats and repeats it, even if there are consequences.

Side effects of using topical corticosteroids

The side effects of using topical corticosteroids are primarily on the skin due to the way it is applied. For example  , the most common side effect is atropy on the outer layer of skin. However, some less common side effects are stretch marks, excessive hair growth and acne.

If you are using topical corticosteroids and do not see any improvement, you should see your doctor immediately. The doctor will check your injury and may want to change the treatment.

Person applies topical corticosteroids on the hands

What factors affect the uptake of topical corticosteroids?

When using topical corticosteroids, keep in mind that their effect and active ingredient depend on a few different factors. For example, some of them are:

Skin permeability

Regarding how it is absorbed by your skin, there are a few factors that affect this:

  • Age. The skin is more susceptible in children and the elderly. The more receptive the skin is, the greater the effects will be.
  • The location of the disorder. Different areas will have different effects. The most susceptible areas are the mucous membranes.
  • The type of disorder and the condition of the skin. When there are lesions on the skin, it is easier to absorb the drug. With chronic lesions, however, the skin becomes thicker. This makes it harder to absorb it into the skin.

The type of product

There are different types of products when it comes to topical corticosteroids. Among other things, it should look good, which helps the patient with his treatment.

Lotion and gel are usually used to treat acute dermatitis. However, emulsions and creams are used for subacute lesions. Generally, ointment is used to treat chronic conditions such as very dry skin.

Person comes cream on the inside of the elbow

Are all topical corticosteroids the same?

Each drug consists of different types of corticosteroids and strengths. Your specialist will be able to tell you which treatment is best for you. In addition, they will consider the strength and possible side effects of each treatment. When choosing a drug, it involves thinking about the type of patient, the location and the type of lesion.

Low-strength corticosteroids are used to treat facial lesions and are used for a maximum of five days. If you have to treat an area on the body, you usually use means with medium strength, and you use them for a maximum of ten days.

One should never end a treatment suddenly. If that does not work, you may have to go from a higher strength to a lower one. In fact, some doctors recommend switching to moisturizing creams to prevent a relapse.

Choosing the best variant for you

When using topical corticosteroids,  it is important to choose the best medicine for you depending on your treatment. As we have explained, an acute disorder is not the same as a chronic one, and not all locations require the same treatment.

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