It's great to be back on here.
We're getting closer to the year's end. And the Christmas fever is already on.
After recovering from my baby blues, settling into the tiring, overwhelming, living-on-a-whim routine my life has become, I can finally say I've become kind of used to it. Motherhood is amazing.
In the midst of all the sleep-deprived craziness and tears, a dear friend sought my advice and typical of me, I just had to give it to her.
She had used a steroid-based medication as her routine face cream and after many months of use, she noticed her face always developed tons of irritation whenever she tried to stop. That in itself is a clear sign of dependency; a common side effect of steroid overuse.
After giving her advice and recommendation on what to do, it hit me hard that over the years during my job as a beauty personnel, I have come across women and even men with similar problems. And I'm certain that there are many more out there who are going through the same problem. Hence, the need for this post was birthed.
You may be wondering what I'm talking about; wonder no further. It's none other but the medications popularly known by the brand names:
There are other names out there but these three are the most common.
These medications are always marketed as an 3-in-1 treatment for a wide range of skin problems. I didn't purchase any neither do I own one myself; so all the images used here were gotten online.
Now that we're clear on that, let's compare them.
This is a triple action skin cream that is anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. It provides synergetic action in the treatment of mixed bacterial and/or fungal infections.
|Photo credit: eBay.com|
- Betamethasone Dipropionate USP 0.643mg,
- Gentamicin Sulphate BP
- Tolnaftate USP 10mg
Betamethasone is a highly active steroid developed for topical use.
Gentamicin is a broad spectrum antibiotic.
Tolnaftate exerts anti-fungal action.
Epiderm is effective in the treatment of various skin infections such as ringworm, otitis external, seborrheic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis and athlete's foot.
It is a broad spectrum cream with ketoconazole as the active ingredient. It is an effective antifungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory and anti-pruritic cream.
- Ketoconazole 10mg
- Clobetasol propionate 0.25mg
- Neomycin sulphate 5000 IU
1. The ketoconazole treats fungal infections.
2. The neomycin is a broad spectrum anti-bacterial.
3. Clobetasol propionate is a topical corticosteroid steroid that is used in treating skin irritation and inflammation. It is commonly found as the active ingredient in most tube creams that are meant for treating skin irritation but now sells on the market as major skin bleaching/skin lightening tube creams like Movate, Hot Movate, Moon White, etc
|Photo credit: malbopharmacy.com|
Skineal is an antifungal, antibacterial, anti-pruritic, anti-inflammatory medicine for infections such as eczema, ringworm, athlete's foot, dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis and most tinea.
It is a triple action cream indicated for the treatment of various inflammatory skin disorders that is usually coupled with bacterial or fungal infections.
Clotrimazole USP 1.0% (antifungal)
Betamethasone dipropionate (anti-inflammatory)
Neomycin sulphate USP 0.5% (antibacterial)
Betamethazone Dipropionate is one of the most potent topical corticosteroid (steroid) available and rapidly controls the symptoms such as itching, redness and scaling.
|Photo credit: auntynurselive.blogspot.com.ng|
Many times the inflammatory skin disorders which respond to topical corticosteroids are superadded with bacterial and/or fungal infections of the skin. In these conditions, treatment with anti-inflammatory agents alone is not sufficient and a proper antibiotic has to be added in the regimen.
Now that we have gone through all 3 of them, we can be certain of one thing: they all contain anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and antifungal ingredients.
Which means that before you can use them, even if you have some form of skin irritation, you must have confirmed that you have a topical fungal and bacterial infection. Besides an average treatment is supposed to last anything from 2-4 weeks. Anything more is abuse of these medications.
SIDE EFFECTS OF PROLONGED USE/ABUSE
In many of the cases where abuse is evident, here are the side effects that occur from prolonged usage and/or withdrawal.
From prolonged usage:
1. Thinning of the skin: which usually presents itself as false skin lightening.
2. Breakdown of skin's natural barrier
3. Skin damage due to overexposure to antifungal and antibacterial agents.
4. Loss of product's effectiveness
1. Withdrawal symptoms can include some or all of the following: severe breakout, itchy skin, rashes, psoriasis, further darkening of skin.
2. Relapse: In the case of a relapse, because many people can't stand the effects listed in number 1, they go back to using it after stopping and the damage continues.
BREAKING THE ADDICTION
To properly wean your skin from steroid or any other skin medication abuse, here's what to do:
1. Be mentally prepared. Have it in mind that your skin will definitely react. And that reactions are typical to different individuals.
2. Stop using the medication immediately. The earlier the better.
3. Give your skin time to purge itself first. This purging can last anything from 3 days to 2 weeks. If the irritation from purging is unbearable, you can use 1% hydrocortisone for one week only and nothing more! Do not exceed one week of usage. Because as you can already tell hydrocortisone in itself is a steroid and as such you do not want to defeat the purpose.
4. Give your skin time to heal on its own. Don't expect a miracle. The skin has spent many months of exposure to damage. Healing time will also vary with individuals. And as for some, because of the extent of damage, healing may take longer.
5. Acknowledge the fact that these products are actually medication and not your regular face cream. That in itself should be taken seriously.
HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR SKIN DURING WEANING
1. Wash skin with products made for sensitive skin.
2. Giving your skin time to purge does not mean you should not apply anything. Instead help your skin build its natural barriers back by using moisturizers for sensitive skin day and night.
3. Exfoliate gently once in a week to get rid of dead skin cells.
4. Steer clear of products with harsh ingredients like alcohol, hydroquinone, skin lighteners etc. Healthy skin is the aim and not skin whitening.
5. Eat a healthy diet. I know you've heard and read it a thousand times but don't underestimate the power of taking enough water, fresh fruits and vegetables daily.
Now that we know the dangers of abusing medication, I hope we'll be more keen on reading the ingredients list on any skin care before using it.
It's lots of love from me. Till next time, have a healthy skin.
Hugs and kisses.