Eczema Treatment: Topical Corticosteroids for Children
Our team of professionals and staff believe that informed patients are better equipped to make decisions regarding their health and well-being. For your personal use, we have created an extensive patient library covering an array of educational topics, which can be found on the side of each page. Browse through these diagnoses and treatments to learn more about topics of interest to you.
- Acanthosis nigricans
- Acne scars
- Actinic keratosis
- Alopecia areata
- Atopic dermatitis
- Basal cell carcinoma
- Botulinum toxin
- Chemical peel
- Contact dermatitis
- Dry skin
- Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans
- Dyshidrotic eczema
- Genital warts
- Hair loss
- Head lice
- Herpes simplex
- Hidradenitis suppurativa
- Ichthyosis vulgaris
- Keratosis pilaris
- Laser hair removal
As always, you can contact our office to answer any questions or concerns.
Your dermatologist has recommended a topical corticosteroid to treat your child’s eczema. This tip sheet will provide you with information on how to use this medication and what to expect while your child is using this medication.
Read through this information and follow any personalized instructions from your child’s dermatologist.
TOPICAL CORTICOSTEROIDS FOR CHILDREN
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved several topical prescription corticosteroids to treat eczema in children. Some of these are approved to treat eczema in
- These treatments are available in many strengths, from mild to very
- Corticosteroids with weaker strengths are available over-the-counter.
- When applied to skin with eczema, this medicine can reduce inflammation (redness, irritation, swelling),
itch and discomfort on the skin.
Prescription corticosteroids should be used under the direction of your
- The risk of side effects from this medication are low when used as
TIPS FOR USE
- Apply the medicine to your child’s skin exactly as directed by your child’s
- Wash your hands before and after applying this medicine to your child’s
- Only use this medicine when your child’s dermatologist includes it in your child’s treatment plan. Children are more sensitive than adults to this
- Best results are obtained when you bathe your child as directed by your dermatologist and use a fragrance-free moisturizer in conjunction with the topical medication(s).
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS
Studies show that side effects are rare when this medicine is used as directed by a dermatologist. All medicines, however, have possible side effects. Even an over-the-counter topical corticosteroid, like hydrocortisone, can cause side effects.
Most side effects occur on the skin and when the medicine is used on the same area of skin for months to years.
If you notice any of the following on your child’s skin, contact your child’s dermatologist:
- Visible blood vessels
- Stretch marks
- Breakouts that look like acne
- Dark spots on the skin
Most side effects that develop on the skin will go away when you stop applying the medicine. It may take months for the side effects to disappear.
Other possible side effects include:
- The medicine quickly stops working, so you see little or no change to the eczema
- The appearance of a rash where the medicine has been applied
In addition, let your child’s pediatrician know they are using a topical steroid for their eczema. A pediatrician can note any unexpected changes in your child’s growth curve.
WHEN SHOULD I CALL MY CHILD’S DERMATOLOGIST?
You should contact your child’s dermatologist if you notice:
- Any of the above side effects
- You don’t see any improvement in your child’s eczema after two weeks of applying the medicine
The AAD Eczema Resource Center, aad.org/public/diseases/eczema
All content solely developed by the American Academy of Dermatology.
Copyright © by the American Academy of Dermatology and the American Academy of Dermatology Association.
Images used with permission of the American Academy of Dermatology National Library of Dermatologic Teaching Slides
American Academy of Dermatology
P.O. Box 1968, Des Plaines, Illinois 60017
AAD Public Information Center: 888.462.DERM (3376) AAD Member Resource Center: 866.503.SKIN (7546) Outside the United States: 847.240.1280
Email: [email protected]