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Topical Corticosteroid Cream not Harmful for Use in Children with Eczema, Study Finds

By HERWriter
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Eczema related image Photo: Getty Images

According to Dr. Seth J. Orlow, department chair of dermatology at NYU Langone Medical Center, “Cortisone phobia is prevalent around the world and results in the under treatment of children and adults with eczema.” He went on to say that with this study, parents and other health care providers should take comfort that under the guidance of a physician, children can be safely treated using prescription topical cortisones. (1)


1. Corticosteroid Creams Safe for Kids With Eczema: Study


2. Eczema prevalence in the United States: data from the 2003 National Survey of Children's Health at http://eczema.researchtoday.net/archive/7/12/2015.htm

3. Study Debunks 'Skin-Thinning' Myth

4. Use of Topical Corticosteroids in Children With Eczema Does Not Have Negative Side Effects, Study Finds

Edited by Alison Stanton

Michele is an R.N. freelance writer with a special interest in woman’s health care and quality of care issues. Other articles by Michele are at www.helium.com/users/487540/show_articles

Add a Comment3 Comments


I agree that the study group was small and I just tried to find the length of the study but I am unable to get anything but the abstract to read.  

I agree that using less risk potential products to start treatment for any problem is best but there may be cases that don't respond to those treatments and having the option to use topical steroids with less concern is what this study was attempting to show.  

As with any study on any treatment, it takes more than one time to demonstrate more confidence in the result. This article was intended to let people know that an attempt to explore this concern was made and in this group for however long it was tested showed this response. 

Thank you for posting and letting the readers know that there are alternative treatments they should consider first. 

January 17, 2012 - 4:49pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Michele Blacksberg RN)

Hi Michelle, There is an estimated 20% of the American population that suffer from eczema /atopic dermatitis and many of the cases have not been diagnosed by a physician. That means these patients treat themselves or accept the recommendation of a pharmacist or use a product seen on TV.

Topical steroids are easily available and relatively inexpensive over the counter. it is our responsibility as health professionals to share the healthiest & safest therapy available.

Hydrocortisone cream is advertised for itchy skin. People think it's ok to use it all over their bodies. Using HC cream on your face can develop symptoms that look like rosascea.

If you could recommend a soap and moisturizer that would improve skin condition with equal or better results than hydrocortisone, wouldn't you do so?

January 17, 2012 - 10:35pm
EmpowHER Guest

As a pharmacist who understands scientific data, hydrocortisone therapy and eczema, I have to strongly disagree with this article!
A population of 70 is not large enough to conclusively reach these findings. TCS used over a decade will show entirely findings. The study does not indicate it's length, but I have to presume it was short term.

I am strongly opposed to using any potentially toxic chemicals such as TCS to treat eczema and atopic dermatits. I offer instead natural skincare products that are chemical. fragrance, colorant and steroid free. Skin Free Rx Skincare takes advantage of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory moeities found in nature, such as in extra virgin olive oil, shea butter, and tamanu. These products can be found at skinfree (dot) net. Skin Free Rx Skincare is recommended by the National Eczema Association.

January 17, 2012 - 4:15pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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