Reasons To Avoid Topical Steroid Creams Without Prescription

By ChemistsWorld On 25 Jun 2018

Topical steroids are the common treatments that are being used widely for the cure of many skin diseases. Initially, steroids were being used by the doctors as a cure for many types of skin diseases and were regarded as a game changer for many skin patients suffering with psoriasis, eczema, etc. These steroids work by shutting the inflammation and suppress the immunity cells in the skin.

You might have come across scenarios wherein people might have suffered from the side-effects of the steroids resulting in spider veins, acne, and easy bruising. Yes, you have got that right. The danger of getting these kinds of side-effects majorly depends on the factors like:

  1. type of steroids(lotions or creams),
  2.  the strength of steroids,
  3. where you are applying the steroid,
  4. duration and frequency of use.

Hence, it is suggested to avoid the use of topical steroid creams that come without prescription.

Here are four of the side-effects associated with the topical steroid creams without prescription:

1. Epidermal barrier disturbance: The skin provides a protective barrier between the environment and our body. Our skin not only avoids allergens and bacteria from entering our body, but it also regulates the water and temperature content. Steroids may destroy the skin barrier resulting in an increased penetration of bacteria and allergens into the deeper layers of body and skin resulting infection and rash respectively.

2. Acne is a well-known side effect of topical steroid use. Steroids, at first, suppress inflammation of papules (small or raise pimples). Short-term use of steroids can help in reducing the acne. But, prolonged use of acne can again give rise to acne. This generally occurs on the face.

3. Steroid addiction: Some people who use topical steroids can become addicted to the medication. Steroid at first can calm down the inflammation and make skin diseases such as rashes and allergies disappear. But, some people still do not stop using them since they are afraid that the condition might become more problematic.

4. Hypopigmentation: is defined as a decrease in coloration or pigmentation of the skin. Steroids are known to reduce the production of melanin in the skin. This side effect is generally seen in sub-Saharan African or African individuals. These skin discolorations are typically reversible once the steroid use is completely stopped.

To avoid these rising concerns, it is recommended that one must not use topical steroid creams that come without prescriptions as they contain harmful chemicals and may react negatively on the skin. However, if you happen to use them, here are some tips to prevent the side-effects due to these creams:

  • Consult a physician before you start applying any of the steroid creams.
  • Clearly, knowing the details about the duration and the frequency of the steroid creams.
  • Do not keep on regularly using the steroid creams. Consider reducing or stopping the application, when your skin conditions start to improve.
  • Switch to low-potency steroids if your skin conditions seem to improve.
  • Pay keen attention towards the above-mentioned side-effects. If you face any of these side-effects, be sure to consult a physician at the earliest.

Final Words
Always use the steroid creams that are prescribed by the doctor. Look for the duration and frequency. Always buy branded creams and lotions that contain proper ingredients and check for side-effects by applying a small amount on a part of your skin like hands/legs.

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