Eczema can be a tremendous blight on your life. Once it takes hold, it is hard to think of anything else. The desire to scratch is insatiable.
As with any unusual skin rashes, you should always contact your Doctor. Your Doctor is the most knowledgeable person who can diagnose your health issues. Sometimes skin rashes can be serious, so early treatment is necessary.
However, eczema may already be a life-long friend of yours. You instantly recognise that itchy, flaky feeling. On the shelf lotions and ointments can help a little, but over the counter creams are far stronger.
Ask your pharmacist for ‘Hydrocortisone Cream’ (‘Hi-droh-corti-zone’).
Hydrocortisone creams are medications known as corticosteroids, and they can reduce itching and inflammation. Hydrocortisone is a steroid. It works by changing the cells that create eczema in order to alleviate your condition. However, the treated cells may leave behind thinner, darker skin. The pharmacist will probably ask you a few questions about your eczema.
Once you have your cream, read the accompanying Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) carefully. The leaflet will tell you how often you should apply the cream. The leaflet will also advise you about the areas of your body that the cream must not be applied to. The leaflet will also list common side effects.
A common side effect of using Hydrocortisone cream is to develop a thinning of the skin. The NHS advises that ‘Long-term use of high-strength steroids can damage the skin’.
If you experience any of the following side effects after using Hydrocortisone cream, make an appointment with your Doctor;
Severe itching, irritation, burning or dry skin where the cream has been applied
A change in the colour of your skin
Thinning of your skin
Make sure that you look after your eczema. Left untreated, the open scratch wounds can allow bacteria to infect your skin. This can be distressing, and you will need to see your Doctor in order to get a prescription for antibiotics.
If you experience any other side effects, a great website now allows consumers to report their issues. The ‘Yellow Card Scheme’ notes that ‘all medicines can cause side effects’. They advise that reporting side effects is important, and that ‘Many side effects are mild, but some can be serious and even life-threatening’.
If you experience adverse side effects that are not described on your Patient Information Leaflet, let the Yellow Card Scheme know, online; https://yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk
The best advice for eczema sufferers is… try not to scratch! Your Hydrocortisone cream will help you to resist.