13 4 Topical corticosteroids

13 4 Topical corticosteroids

Some online doctors in the UK sell very low dose creams for certain conditions, if you meet certain criteria. You will need to fill in an online assessment form and possibly provide photographs of your condition. Only ever use a reputable online doctor that’s registered with the CQC. A handy tip is to use one affiliated or run by a recognisable high street pharmacy chain.

  • Hydrocortisone butyrate is not normally recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
  • We urge people who are affected to read the newly published patient safety leaflet and to speak to their doctor or other prescriber if they have questions and concerns.
  • They’re often prescribed to people with a history of blood clots or an increased risk of developing them.
  • Only use this treatment if a skin specialist (dermatologist) prescribes it and supervises your treatment.

Women who are planning a pregnancy should speak to their specialist to ensure they are using the most suitable treatment. Corticosteroid nasal sprays can help a blocked and/or runny nose and therefore improve health and wellbeing. A FTU (about 500mg) is the amount needed to squeeze a line from the tip of an adult finger to the first crease of the finger. It should be enough to treat an area of skin double the size of the flat of your hand with your fingers together.

How long should I use topical corticosteroids?

For further information on using topical corticosteroids safely please see the full Drug Safety Update article and Patient Safety Leaflet. There are many different types and strengths of topical corticosteroids. The Yellow Card Scheme allows you to report suspected side effects from any type of medicine you’re taking.

  • Topical corticosteroids are a type of steroid medicine applied directly to the skin to reduce inflammation and irritation.
  • However, it can occasionally happen if they’re used at high doses and for a long time.
  • In fact, even if you are using hydrocortisone creams on your face, all complexions can benefit from a whole body approach.
  • However, a withdrawal reaction following long term use of these products can lead to skin redness and a burning sensation worse than the original skin condition.
  • However, topical corticosteroids are generally considered to be a safe option and there is no need to avoid them in pregnancy.
  • In these situations, you will only be prescribed oral corticosteroids if the benefits of treatment outweigh any potential risks.

The reason for this is that if hydrocortisone or other steroids get into the eyes they can cause increased pressure within the eyeball. There has been a lot of bad publicity about cortisone creams in recent years. The reasons for this are wide-ranging; from misinformation and horror stories on the internet right up to advice from trusted sources who are unsure of how to use the products correctly.

Common questions about hydrocortisone skin treatments

If you’re thinking of using stronger corticosteroids to tackle eczema for yourself or your child, then it’s important to seek advice from your doctor or a healthcare professional. They will be able to advise you on the best course of treatment for your condition. Read our guide for more information on how to moisturise your scalp.

They are generally used to relieve symptoms and suppress signs of the disorder when other measures such as emollients are ineffective. Here is another study on the ‘safety of topical corticosteroids in atopic eczema’ that shows the use of mild to moderate potency steroids does not cause thinning of the skin or suppression of a child’s own corticosteroids. There are many studies, including this study from 2016, into the long-term safety of topical corticosteroids in paediatric patients. Many studies have shown that used appropriately, the symptoms of eczema can be rapidly controlled with no side effects.


Anticoagulant medicines are medications that make the blood less sticky. They’re often prescribed to people with a history of blood clots or an increased risk of developing them. There’s some evidence that steroid inhalers used by people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can increase the risk of chest infections like pneumonia. For most people, steroid inhalers and steroid injections shouldn’t cause any bad side effects.

Conditions treated with topical corticosteroids

When using hydrocortisone on your skin, follow the instructions from your pharmacist, doctor or the leaflet that comes with your treatment. Pharmacies sell hydrocortisone skin cream up to a maximum 1% strength. However, they should be avoided ilsportsphotos.com or used with caution if you have an ongoing infection or a blood clotting disorder (like haemophilia). In these situations, you will only be prescribed oral corticosteroids if the benefits of treatment outweigh any potential risks.

Are TCS creams, like hydrocortisone, safe to use on children?

Using hydrocortisone for many months at a time can make your skin thinner or cause stretchmarks. Stretchmarks are likely to be permanent, but they usually fade over time. For insect bites and stings, nappy rash or contact dermatitis you’ll probably only need to use a skin cream for up to 1 week.

If you’re using both topical corticosteroids and emollients, wait 20 to 30 minutes between using them. Do not apply hydrocortisone at the same time as other creams or ointments such as a moisturiser. Wait at least 10 minutes between using hydrocortisone and any other product. Dr Hunt recommends using mild or moderately potent steroids as soon as the skin starts to flare.