Hydrocortisone is commonly used for eczema treatment. Here are some benefits and side effects of using this treatment.
Eczema or atopic dermatitis is a condition, in which, the skin fails to retain moisture, and becomes dry and flaky. It affects about 15 million people every year. Mostly, it begins in the early childhood, when the skin is tender. The skin itches a lot, and red patches develop all over the affected area. Scratching the skin exacerbates the condition. Eczema can be rarely cured completely. However, it is possible to control eczema with the help of certain medications. These medications add moisture to the skin, and keep it hydrated. They also reduce inflammation and swelling that results due to eczema. Corticosteroids such as hydrocortisone effectively keep eczema under check. However, there are certain benefits and side effects of using hydrocortisone for the treatment of eczema.
Hydrocortisone is often applied in topical form, while treating eczema. It is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Over-the-counter cream successfully clears the eczema symptoms in about 80% of the patients. Mostly, hydrocortisone of strength 1% is used in treating eczema. Higher strengths may be required for treating the problem on thicker, tougher skin. Hydrocortisone usually eliminates rashes within 2-3 days of treatment. It also reduces the formation of scales on the skin.
Before using it, always consult your dermatologist for proper guidance. He may recommend you a proper strength and form of the medication to be used, depending upon your individual condition. Oral corticosteroids are recommended only in case of severe eczema, when even prescription strength ointment fails to cure the skin problem. Using hydrocortisone for treating eczema in babies, is also a safe practice. Often in child eczema, the medication of lower strength is preferred. Though, adults can safely apply it on the folds of the skin, its usage on groin area is not recommended.
Hydrocortisone can indeed induce some side effects, if you fail to administer it properly. Therefore, it is imperative to consult your doctor before going for it. Using the cream of higher strength for treating mild eczema can make the skin thin and prone to abrasions. Similarly, its prolonged use also induces similar effects. Moreover, if you have been using the cream without obtaining any positive effect, then it renders your skin susceptible to various bacterial and fungal infections.
Another drawback of using it for long time is that, it leads to stretch mark like appearance on the skin. It may also lead to swelling of blood vessels in the affected area. If higher strength lotion is used, then it may get absorbed in the blood stream and affect the body system. The most hazardous effect of this lotion on the body is that, it may completely stop or suppress the production of natural adrenaline in the body. This may give rise to several illnesses, including the one, like Cushing’s syndrome.
If you find that your over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream is not giving you desired results, then it is recommended that you immediately stop its usage and see your dermatologist. Going for higher strength product without your dermatologist’s consent can prove to be detrimental. In the meanwhile, you may also look for other natural treatment options or alternative therapies. Some home remedies may also prove to be effective in the treatment of eczema.