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How to use topical steroid

Topical steroid when recommended for a particular skin condition is applied once daily (usually at night) to inflamed skin for a course of 5 days to several weeks. After that, it is usually stopped, or the strength or frequency of application is reduced.

Avoid the application of steroid based cosmetics all over the body.

Emollients can be applied before or after the application of topical steroid, to relieve irritation and dryness or as a barrier preparation. Infection may need additional treatment.

Fingertip unit

The fingertip unit guides the amount of topical steroid to be applied to a body site. One unit describes the amount of cream squeezed out of its tube onto the volar (tip) aspect of the terminal phalanx of the index finger.

The quantity of cream in a fingertip unit varies with age:

  • Adult male: one fingertip unit provides 0.5 g
  • Adult female: one fingertip unit provides 0.4 g
  • Child aged 4 years: approximately 1/3 of adult amount
  • Infant 6 months to 1 year: approximately 1/4 of adult amount

The amount of cream that should be used varies with the body part:

  • One hand: apply 1 fingertip unit
  • One arm: apply 3 fingertip units
  • One foot: apply 2 fingertip units
  • One leg: apply 6 fingertip units
  • Face and neck: apply 2.5 fingertip units
  • Trunk, front & back: 14 fingertip units
  • Entire body: about 40 units


Preventing Side Effects of Topical Steroids

In order to limit and prevent side effects associated with topical steroids, here are 5 useful tips you should follow:

  • Please, please avoid the over the counter steroid preparations especially in the cosmetics shops. Most of them come in tubes. Be sure to read your personal care products looking out for the steroids in them. They are formulated into creams, lotions, soaps, shampoos, bath washes e.t.c.
  • Seek physicians order to use the appropriate strength of topical steroid. Should you be prescribed a treatment which includes a topical steroid, it is important to only use it as directed by your doctor and not to continue use as a ‘preventative’ measure.
  • Get clear instruction on the frequency (e.g., apply once or twice per day) and duration (e.g., 3 months only) of using the topical steroids.
  • Do not end steroids abruptly. Consider tapering or reducing the strength and frequency of steroids when skin diseases start to improve.
  • Also, consider to switch to low-potency steroids if skin diseases are improving. Don’t forget to use moisturizer
  • Pay close attention to common side effects listed above. When seeing these adverse effects, be sure to inform your physicians
  • Feel free to ask questions when in doubt for clarifications. Make sure your steroid containing cosmetic product is always recommended otherwise do not use.
  • Get involved! Tell your children, relatives, friends, neighbours, practically people around you.
  • knowledge is key. Empower yourself with information.

Final Thoughts

Topical steroids are used to treat skin conditions and not recommended for lightening. Skin lightening is a side effect of steroid application. Consult your expert dermatologists if in doubt. Watch out for the composition of your cosmetic products before buying. Seek clarification where necessary! Unfortunately, like all drugs, steroids have many side effects. So, have you ever used topical steroids? What were your results? Do you know anyone who is currently using steroids for long period of time?

If so, please share this article and let them know about the potential harms associated with this class of drugs.

Its been an amazing 5 weeks on corticosteroids in skin care

I hope it was useful.

Be social……Like, Share and Comment. Together lets all get involved.

Have a splendid new week.

Love your body!!!!!!!!!!!

THE END!!!!!!!!!!



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