What is steroid cream?

People with eczema sometimes use steroid cream to relieve itching.

Steroid cream is a topical cream that is mixed with steroids to treat skin problems. These creams are used to treat a variety of ailments and are available in prescription or over-the-counter versions. Most commonly, steroid cream is recommended to treat skin conditions such as eczema or a rash, with steroids targeting the problem directly, as opposed to oral steroids, which must pass through the body to the spot.

Hydrocortisone cream is a steroid cream used to treat skin conditions.

The strength of a steroid cream depends on the concentration of steroids used and the oils used in the cream. Some oils stimulate absorption, causing the skin to absorb most of the steroids in the cream, while others may be less effective, causing the steroids to be eliminated rather than entering the site. There are also several different types of steroids that can be used in a topical steroid to address specific issues.

Steroid creams are intended for short-term use to treat a specific problem.

Like other steroid products, steroid creams are intended for short-term use to treat a specific problem. Steroids have a number of side effects, especially if used over a long period of time, and topical creams containing steroids can cause things like thinning of the skin, stretch marks, and discoloration. If a skin condition does not respond to steroids, the situation needs to be re-evaluated to determine the best course of action. Some studies have also linked high use of steroid cream and steroids in general to cancer.

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Frequent use of steroid cream can cause stretch marks.

Steroids can relieve itching, burning, and inflammation. Many skin conditions cause all of these symptoms, along with scaly and cracking skin. Using a steroid cream can target the cause of the skin condition while calming the symptoms to decrease healing time and increase patient comfort. Eczema patients, for example, can use cream containing steroids to promote healing and reduce the amount of itching to lessen the itching, which can make the problem even worse.

If an over-the-counter steroid cream is purchased, the packaging should reveal the steroid used and the dosage, such as one percent hydrocortisone cream. Generally, the cream should not be used for longer than a week unless a doctor has specifically recommended an over-the-counter product for long-term use. If the condition does not respond or worsens, the over-the-counter cream should be discontinued and a consultation with a dermatologist, who can examine the site and prescribe a different drug or treatment.

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