Researchers green-light steroid creams to treat children with eczema

Parents are often concerned about treating their child's eczema, a dry itchy skin condition, with steroid creams and ointments, but new research suggests it won't cause negative side effects.

One of the biggest fears for parents, as well as some health care practitioners, is that regular and long-term use of topical corticosteroids (also known as TCS) could cause the skin to thin, and prior research on this has yielded mixed results. But a new Australian study, announced April 21, aims to quell those concerns.

This study involved 70 children who were treated with sufficient topical steroids to keep them virtually free of eczema, plus a control group of 22 children who didn't receive the medication. All of the children were evaluated for signs of steroid-related side effects using a technique called dermoscopy, a mini-microscope that can detect subtle side effects, the researchers said. They found no difference between the children using the topical ointments and those in the control group.

"Our results show that normal routine use of TCS does not cause skin thinning, and parents should be reassured," said head researcher Gayle Fischer in a statement.

WebMD notes that prior research on the side effect of steroid creams and ointments has been unclear, citing that other studies have shown that if you use these creams for a long time at very high doses, your skin gets thinner. "If your skin gets too thin, it splits and scars easily," states the website. "But it takes a long time for this to happen, and the skin returns to normal after the treatment is stopped."

The UK's National Health Socity (NIS) reports that around 10 percent of babies and small children have eczema, but the good news is that about 75 percent of them grow out of it by the time they reach their teens or younger.

If your child has eczema, the NIS recommends, in addition to medical treatment, getting into a bedtime routine, since sleeping may be difficult as your child's skin may get hotter and itchier at night. Apply a moisturizer at least 20 minutes before bedtime, and keep their bedroom cool. Also, be careful about using products such as soap and bubble baths, which a study shows can aggravate symptoms.

For more tips from the NHS: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Allergies/Pages/Stopthescratching.aspx

Access the study's abstract here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1525-1470.2011.01445.x/abstract

Watch a video on how to identify and treat your child's eczema: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtYu2JW58Q0

 

Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

    £17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

    £17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

    £17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

    Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Immediate Start

    £16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Day In a Page

    The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

    Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

    Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
    Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

    'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

    Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
    Compton Cricket Club

    Compton Cricket Club

    Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
    London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

    Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

    'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

    It helps a winner keep on winning
    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'