Does Cortisone Cure Eczema?

atopic-dermatitis-in-babiesNowadays, there are many eczema treatments, among which topical steroids are one of traditional, popular options. And topical cortisone cream is the most common over-the-counter steroids for eczema available in pharmacies. So, does cortisone cream help eczema? Simply put, this is an effective treatment for eczema, but its therapeutic effects vary from patient to patient.

Topical steroids are widely used to relieve itching and keep the skin moist. Sometimes, corticosteroid cream with a higher concentration will be prescribed based on the individual situation. It is worth mentioning that it only makes sense in treating mild form of eczema. In severe cases, cortisone shot may be a better treatment since it usually helps get the best results. It should be noted that it cannot cure eczema in spite of it is able to quickly offer a relief to the symptoms. In other words, stopping it tends to cause a relapse soon in most cases.

Eczema refers to the inflammation or irritation of the outer layer of the skin. It is also called atopic dermatitis. This condition is usually caused by an overactive immune system, manifested as a dry, red, and itchy rash. It can be triggered by various factors, which include food, dry or wet air, dust, detergent, perfume, and others. Unlike most ordinary dry skin problems, eczema usually doesn’t respond to ointments and regular moisturizers. For that reason, a kind of viscous, oily ointment has been produced exclusively for this skin problem. Unfortunately, it works sometimes, other times it doesn’t. When it doesn’t work, it is a good idea to get the prescribed hydrocortisone from a doctor.

Cortisone is a hormone naturally secreted by the body. It usually reacts to stress and mainly stabilizes inflammation. Its presence is considered an evolution of human’s instinctual response to potential danger. Later it is found with medicinal value when in high concentrations. Today this hormone is often synthesized in the laboratory, and is used for the production of ointments and creams, and occasionally injections.

This steroid can effectively get rid of eczema for two reasons. On the one hand, it prevents the body from attacking itself by suppressing the immune response. On the other hand, it relieves itching and discomfort by reducing inflammation. However, the relief is temporary, just as mentioned above. For that reason, generally it cannot be considered a cure.

When it is a chronic eczema, in most cases the patients will attempt to find out the cause to treat or rule out the triggers. When cortisone cream is initially applied to the affected area, it usually works quickly. But after some time it may not be as effective as usual. In this case, higher dose should be used to keep the same efficiency. But over time it won’t help much no matter how high the dose has been increased. Good news is that it may not be dangerous when it is used at the recommended dose.

Some tips can help make hydrocortisone creams and ointments work more quickly. On the one hand, it is recommended to be used right after bathing since applying a small amount of it onto moist skin can usually get a better result. On the other hand, it is a good idea to gradually increase the dose in case it won’t become ineffective soon.

When larger dose of cortisone cream has been used for a long time, it may cause side effects like enlarged blood vessels visible on the skin, thinning of the skin, glaucoma, cataracts, and so on. When properly used, it is still one of the best eczema treatments for most patients since it has little or no side effects. In general, strong steroids are only suitable for short-term use while the low-strength preparations (0.5% or 1%) can be sued on daily basis.

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