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Topical Steroids

From the Colorado Dermatology Institute in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
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Colorado Springs Dermatologist Dr. Reagan Anderson

Video Transcript

So here’s another daily do from your local dermatologist!

So topical steroids have been in the tool bag of dermatologists for decades, and we use them all day long because they help decrease inflammation. They help decrease a immune response in a local area of skin and their enormously useful. However, like everything else, if you overuse topical steroids you’re gonna have problems and those problems are going to be perhaps thinning of skin, perhaps increase blood vessel formation, perhaps that area of skin is just going to get addicted to them and then you’re gonna need stronger and stronger and stronger steroids or more and more frequent steroids to achieve the same effect. So, please use steroids appropriately and your local dermatologist is going to talk to you about what is appropriate use for topical steroids. Now the general rule of thumb is that we usually give topical steroids for things that are kind of red and bump up. Usually, not always, but usually and when we’re doing that for those areas the general rule of thumb is that you keep using it until you can no longer feel a problem there. So if you close your eyes and you can’t feel that there’s still a problem there, that’s when you stop. Oftentimes there will be a little bit of pink or red that stays for weeks or months as your body takes care of that inflammation. We don’t want you treating that inflammation once you can’t feel it anymore, because that’s when you start developing the side effects from the topical steroids. Now this is a general rule of thumb and another general rule of thumb is that topical steroids are to be used for short durations to clear an area and then your local dermatologist is going to talk to you about the long term treatment strategy with things that don’t have the side effect profile of topical steroids, so that you don’t need topical steroids anymore. If your local dermatologist has put you on a topical steroid for the rest of your life, have a conversation with them, ask them if there are any other things that you can use, whether those are prescriptions or over-the-counter products that can help you avoid topical steroids as much as possible. We’re here for you, but we need to know from your perspective what your long-term healthcare goals are and more importantly, what you’re willing to do to avoid needing more and more topical steroids, because guys there’s often all sorts of things that you can do to prevent even needing topical steroids in the future. So please be our partner, do those daily things that your dermatologist tells you to do so that we don’t even need to write topical steroids that much in the future.

Because Dermatologists treat more than just skin cancer!

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