In this article you would know about corticosteroid cream, its various uses, possible side effects, its working in the body, and some common brand names the produce is sold in.
The adrenal glands are one of the endocrine glands in the body, and they sit on top of both kidneys. These glands produce a hormone known as corticosteroids, which play an important role in the daily functioning of the body, which includes stress response, immune response, management of inflammation, metabolic process of carbohydrates, and levels of blood electrolyte to name a few. Here in this article we are discussing topical corticosteroid, which is a derivative of the natural corticosteroid hormones produced by the body, as mentioned above.
Sometimes, corticosteroid is also known as steroid, and most people confuse this one with anabolic steroids, which have become infamous due to their abuse some athletes and body builders. Corticosteroid medicines are mainly used for dealing with medical conditions that trigger inflammatory response in the body, thus causing unpleasant symptoms. And when we speak of corticosteroid cream, it finds its use in the treatment of inflammatory skin disorders, eczema being the most common example.
Inflammation in the body is triggered by chemicals released by some specialized cells in the immune system. This inflammation, however, is good for the body as it helps in fighting off infections. However, for people with allergic or autoimmune conditions, the same can be highly bothersome. So what corticosteroid cream or any other topical preparation of the same does is, it enters the immune system cells, and starts working by shutting off the system that is responsible for releasing the chemicals that cause inflammation.
So in other words, this medication mimics the function of the natural corticosteroid hormones secreted by the adrenal glands. But since the body of the affected person does not produce enough of it, this steroid medicine is prescribed to fill the difference, and control the inflammatory symptoms. Also the fact remains that, use of this medicine does not cure the condition, as it has no effect on the underlying cause of the condition, thus it is only meant for symptomatic relief.
Corticosteroid cream, as effective it is for various inflammatory skin conditions, it is not free from causing side effects, which in some cases, can turn out to be serious. This is because, corticosteroid is a hormone derivative, and substances such as these have strong influences in the body. So given the high risk of causing side effects, this medication is only available via prescription. Usually, the side effects occur locally, that is, at the site of the skin that is being treated with the medication, and commonly they may include:
- Skin thinning
- Swelling of fine blood vessels under the skin
- Red lesions
- Acne breakouts
- Easy bruising of this skin thus, increase susceptibility to infections
Knowing about these side effects often causes people to be anxious and doubtful about using the medication. According to experts, topical form of corticosteroid when used as prescribed, rarely causes such side effects.
Corticosteroid Cream Brands
Some common brand names of this medication include Alphaderm cream, Betnovate-N cream, Dermovate cream, Diprosone cream, Eurax hydrocortisone cream, Haelan cream, Nystaform HC cream, Synalar C cream, and Timodine cream.
Directions for Use
- Using a mild cleanser, wash the affected area of the skin. Ensure to rinse thoroughly.
- Use a clean towel and pat the skin dry.
- Apply the cream as a thin layer over the area, covering the problem spot evenly.
- It is recommended to massage the cream onto the surface until it starts disappearing.
- It is important to wash the hands thoroughly after applying the cream, unless of course, the hands are the ones that are affected.
Generally, doctors recommend the medication to be used not more than twice a day. In fact, for some people, one time application a day is also enough. However, following what the doctor recommends is more important.