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How can steroids help with severe eczema?

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If you’re dealing with a severe flare-up, your doctor may prescribe a steroid cream, shot, or pill. Because steroids are good at easing inflammation, they’ll make you feel better quickly, but they can cause side effects, including insomnia and irritability. So take them for a short time.

Be aware that once the steroids clear your system, your symptoms may come back. You can help prevent this by taking good care of your skin.

SOURCES:

Katta, R. Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, March 2014.

Walling, H. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, published online July 28, 2010.

National Eczema Association: “Phototherapy,” “Immunosuppresants,” “Topical Cacineurin Inhibitors.”

FDA: “Public Health Advisory: Elidel (pimecrolimus) Cream and Protopic (tacrolimus) Ointment.”

UpToDate: “Patient Information: Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema): Beyond the Basics,”

American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, “Eczema,” “Oral Steroids,” “Phototherapy: UVB.”

ChoosingWisely.org: “Antibiotics for your Skin.”

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence: “Alitretinoin for the treatment of severe chronic hand eczema.”

Ghasri, P. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, published online April 19, 2010.

American Psychological Association: “The Link Between Skin and Psychology.”

Lahey Hospital & Medical Center: “Understanding Biofeedback.”

McMenamy, C. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, September 1988.

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner on June 14, 2020

SOURCES:

Katta, R. Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, March 2014.

Walling, H. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, published online July 28, 2010.

National Eczema Association: “Phototherapy,” “Immunosuppresants,” “Topical Cacineurin Inhibitors.”

FDA: “Public Health Advisory: Elidel (pimecrolimus) Cream and Protopic (tacrolimus) Ointment.”

UpToDate: “Patient Information: Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema): Beyond the Basics,”

American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, “Eczema,” “Oral Steroids,” “Phototherapy: UVB.”

ChoosingWisely.org: “Antibiotics for your Skin.”

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence: “Alitretinoin for the treatment of severe chronic hand eczema.”

Ghasri, P. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, published online April 19, 2010.

American Psychological Association: “The Link Between Skin and Psychology.”

Lahey Hospital & Medical Center: “Understanding Biofeedback.”

McMenamy, C. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, September 1988.

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner on June 14, 2020

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