Steroids (Topical)
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Patient Guide

 Steroids (Topical)

 Steroids (Topical)

About Your Medicine

Your doctor has prescribed the following medicine:

  • Topical steroid
  • Topical steroid with antibacterial / antifungal / other additives
    a. clioquinol
    b. isoconazole
    c. calcipotriol
    d. fusidic acid
    e. miconazole
    f. salicylic acid

What is this medicine used for?

Topical steroids are applied to the skin to treat many types of skin problems, including itch, redness and swelling associated with allergies, eczema, contact dermatitis and psoriasis. It is also used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Topical steroids are potent medicines that have been prescribed for your current skin condition only. Do not give to other people or use for other problems as they may worsen the problems.

What is the use of the antibacterial / antifungal / other additives in the topical steroids?

These are used to treat your skin infection or other skin condition at the same time.

How should I use topical steroids?

  • Topical steroids are available as creams, ointments and lotions.
  • Clean the skin before applying this medicine.
  • Apply a thin layer to completely cover the affected area and rub it gently in a circular motion until the medicine disappears. Do not apply too much.
  • Do not bandage or cover after applying the medicine unless directed by the doctor. Occlusive dressing (airtight covering) may increase both the amount of the steroids absorbed through the skin, as well as increase the risk of side effects.
  • Apply it twice a day, unless otherwise directed by your doctor. More frequent applications are usually not helpful.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Apply as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next application, skip the missed dose. Do not apply more of it to make up for the missed dose.

What other effects may it cause?

When used carefully according to the doctor’s advice for short-term treatment, side effects are uncommon.

Consult your doctor if any of these effects occur after use:

  • pain, swelling
  • redness, itch
  • your skin condition gets worse

When you overuse the topical steroids or if you are on long-term treatment, the following may occur:

  • thinning of the skin
  • easy bruising
  • reddish stretch marks
  • acne

Consult you doctor for advice.
Topical steroids are generally not recommended for the face, unless deemed necessary by your doctor.
Topical steroids containing clioquinol may stain your clothes yellow.
Topical steroid lotions contain some alcohol which may cause a temporary, mild stinging when used on broken skin.

What precautions should I take?

  • Women who are pregnant or intending to conceive should inform the doctor before using topical steroids.
  • Inform your doctor if you have ever had any unusual allergic reactions to any topical preparations.

How do I store this medicine?

  • Keep this medicine away from heat and direct sunlight in a cool, dry place, out of reach of children.

When in doubt, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
National Skin Centre (Singapore)
1 Mandalay Road, Singapore 308205
Tel: 63508454

Last updated on 28 Oct 2013

Last updated on 28 Oct 2013