Topical Corticosteroids Benefits and Side Effects

Topical Corticosteroids

Topical corticosteroids are products that are designed to reduce skin inflammation. That’s all fine and dandy, but for the majority of us, when we head to the store for a tube of over the counter steroid cream we are thinking about one thing and one thing only, and that is to find something that will make us less itchy. Whether for a bug bite, eczema, hives or any other condition that is causing redness, itching, swelling or other forms of skin discomfort, topical corticosteroids are usually the first line of treatment.

There is actually more than one single strength of topical corticosteroids. Mild, (this is what you will find at your neighborhood drugstore), moderate and strong. The more potent topical corticosteroids are those that your doctor will prescribe for you. Although these creams are widely used, they do in fact have a laundry list of side effects. Osteoporosis, tachyphylaxis, and forms of dermatitis are side effects that are noted with use of topical corticosteroids. Long term use can include more serious adverse effects like Norwegian Scabies. Not too sure what Norwegian scabies are, but are any scabies good scabies? Nonetheless, especially in the case of prescribed medication, if your doctor has given you medication to use it is because he or she believes the benefit to you to be greater than the risk of side effects, so you should never stop taking or using any medication, including topical corticosteroids, without first consulting your health care provider.

If you are looking for alternatives to Norwegian scabies, you might consider PUVA therapy. This treatment involves exposing the skin to the sun after using photo-sensitizing agents found in plants either orally or topically. You might also consider a protopic ointment for conditions such as eczema, however with itching being a side effect in around 10% of people, if you are already feeling like you rolled around in poison ivy this might not be the best idea for you.

Steroid creams have been around for a long time, and with limited and reasonable use usually yield only mild if any side effects and can provide great relief for overly itchy skin. If you have had an undesirable reaction to this product, speak to you health care provider about some reasonable alternatives for your condition.