Many doctors will prescribe hydrocortisone products to help you to take care of your eczema. The products come in lots of different forms such as gels and creams and they are quite common, they can even be purchased if you don’t get a prescription, but what are they doing to your skin and will they benefit you?
Hydrocortisone is a steroid and it is similar to cortisol, a naturally produced hormone that our bodies make. The purpose of the products is to reduce any inflammation that might be present and to reduce itching and redness of the skin. Once applied patients suffering with eczema can find relief from their symptoms. Some people however have an allergic reaction to the products while others require a stronger dose which is only available from the GP rather than from over the counter.
If you are prescribed a steroid treatment such as oil or a cream you’re usually able to use it up to four times a day but once a day is more common. Follow the directions on the product information, often rubbing in the dose to the inflamed areas until it has disappeared into the skin and then washing any off your hands unless it is the hands you are treating. Use it for a week to provide relief or up to 14 days until the flare up has eased. You might be able to have a longer course but your doctor will advise you based on your condition. These treatments can be used alongside therapeutic garments, made from viscose they are compatible with the creams and add some extra relief, protection and comfort.
After the Course
Once you have finished the course of steroid treatments you can continue to use moisturisers or emollients, which will work to prevent another flare up from occurring. Again emollients can also be used alongside the viscose therapeutic garments that are also available on prescription from your GP.