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My child has eczema, and I’ve been told that we need to use steroid ointments. Are they safe?


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38 Answers
214 Helpful Votes
  • Steroid ointments are safe when used appropriately. Some tips for safe application include:
  • Apply topical steroids only to rough affected skin and avoid normal unaffected skin.
  • Avoid the application of topical steroids to skin folds (armpits, groin, thighs, under breasts) when possible, especially for prolonged periods of time.
  • Avoid the use of topical steroids on eyelids.
  • Apply milder steroids, which your dermatologist can prescribe, to treat the face.
  • Use the mildest topical steroid that controls the eczema, which your dermatologist can help you determine.
  • Apply topical steroids no more than two times per day.

Consider using calcineurin inhibitors (Protopic© ointment and Elidel© cream). These nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications are approved for children older than two years, but they are sometimes used “off-label,” especially in rotation with topical steroids, for infants.

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