What is a topical corticosteroid? * How do they work? * What can you expect from treatment?
Topical corticosteroids are medications that can be prescribed by a dermatologist to treat skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, and seborrheic dermatitis. Topical corticosteroids work by reducing inflammation of the skin and decreasing itching. They come in different forms including creams, ointments, lotions, gels, or sprays depending on the location where they will be applied. Corticosteroids may also be given orally if the affected area is large enough to warrant oral administration of medication.
Topical corticosteroids have anti-inflammatory properties which reduce swelling and redness of the affected area by reducing the number of mast cells present at the site. Mast cells play an important role in inflammation because they release histamine when activated by allergens or other stimuli resulting in blood vessel widening (vasodilation) and increased blood flow (hyperemia). Histamine also causes itching, flushing, swelling (edema), and pain; all symptoms associated with inflammatory skin conditions. Topical corticosteroids work by binding to receptors that control gene expression and protein synthesis of the cells, as well as inhibiting lipocortins which are a family of proteins that play an important role in the regulation of inflammation.
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Types of Topical Corticosteroids
Several types of topical corticosteroids can be used to treat inflammatory skin conditions. These include:
- Clobetasol propionate
The most common topical corticosteroid is hydrocortisone which comes in different strengths; mild, moderate, and strong. The strength depends on how much active ingredient (cortisol) it contains. The higher the number (strength), the more cortisol it has in it for treating certain conditions like psoriasis or eczema. Those with sensitive skin should avoid using high-strength products on their face because they may cause broken blood vessels, redness, and irritation. A dermatologist will prescribe your medication depending on the severity of your condition and other factors such as age.
Potential side effects and warnings to watch out for topical Corticosteroids
Topical corticosteroids can cause several side effects when used over long periods including thinning of the skin which can lead to increased susceptibility for bacterial infections or other types of infections like herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection. Topical corticosteroids also have several systemic side effects which include suppression of the adrenal gland and a condition known as hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis suppression. HPA axis suppression occurs when the body is exposed to prolonged use of corticosteroids and the body’s ability to produce natural cortisol is inhibited. This condition can lead to a number of different problems including low immune function, stomach ulcers, and even mental health conditions such as depression. Prolonged use of corticosteroids can also lead to elevated pressure in the eye which may lead to glaucoma.
They can also cause some side effects that you should be aware of before using them. Some of the more common ones include thinning skin, easy bruising or bleeding, increased sun sensitivity, acne breakouts, allergic reactions, or worsening of your condition. If you notice any unusual changes in your skin after applying a topical steroid for the first time it is best to remove it immediately and consult with your doctor so they know what has happened.
Topical corticosteroids: How to use them?
Unless instructed otherwise by your doctor, follow the directions on the patient information leaflet that comes with the medicine. This will give details for how much to apply and when it’s okay to stop using them as well as any other precautions you should know about before applying this medication
Most people only require a single application per day or twice during an assigned period (lasting 1-2 weeks). Sometimes doctors might recommend reducing times between applications over longer periods of time if necessary because they work best at keeping symptoms from returning.
The medicine should only be applied to affected areas of the skin. Gently smooth a thin layer onto your skin in the direction the hair grows.
If you’re using both topical corticosteroids and emollients, you should apply the emollient first. Then wait about 30 minutes before applying the topical corticosteroid.
Topical corticosteroids: Varieties and dosage form
Pharmapk: The supplier and exporter of Topical corticosteroids in Pakistan.
Pharmapk is a supplier and exporter of Pakistani Topical corticosteroids. We provide the finest market pricing for topical corticosteroids as well as a delivery guarantee to our clients. Pharmapk produces and exports topical corticosteroids all over the world. Customers in Pakistan require this medicine, so we can export and distribute it. Pharmapk is also home to other healthcare businesses that specialize in corticosteroids and other medicines.