If you have itchy skin from bug bites, one of the first things you might reach for is hydrocortisone cream. This over the counter solution to itchiness works very well for most causes of itchy skin, including seborrheic dermatitis. However, if you have seborrheic dermatitis, you should know that hydrocortisone cream isn't a good long-term solution to your problem. Here's why, and what you can do instead of using the cream:
How Hydrocortisone Cream Helps
Hydrocortisone cream helps seborrheic dermatitis in two ways: by reducing itchiness, and by controlling the inflammatory response.
Itchiness is one of the most irritating aspects of having seborrheic dermatitis. The condition causes patches of skin to become itchy and inflamed, and they only become worse if you scratch them. Hydrocortisone cream can drastically reduce the itchiness of the skin, making seborrheic dermatitis more tolerable.
The best part of hydrocortisone cream and seborrheic dermatitis, however, is that hydrocortisone cream contains a mild steroid. This steroid can help to control inflammatory responses, and at its core, seborrheic dermatitis is a disorder of abnormally high inflammation of the skin. As such, it's easy to think that a daily dose of hydrocortisone cream is all you need to control seborrheic dermatitis.
How Hydrocortisone Cream Hurts
Unfortunately, that daily dose could hurt your skin in the long run. Steroids, even in their mildest forms, aren't recommended for long-term use. This includes hydrocortisone cream. If you look closely at a tube, you'll probably find a warning to not use it over a long period of time for this exact reason.
Hydrocortisone cream can potentially make your skin condition worse over time. Steroids have been shown to make skin thinner, which is synonymous with weaker. Your skin could become damaged more easily, as well as suffer more severe infections should it come into contact with dangerous bacteria. Also, hydrocortisone cream is dangerous for the eyes, so you should never use this product near your eyes. Unfortunately, eyelids and noses are two of the most common places to get seborrheic dermatitis, so you may naturally want to apply it there.
What To Do
Instead of slathering on hydrocortisone cream, you should talk to a dermatologist. Trained, licensed dermatologists are available at medical spas and can examine your skin to confirm whether or not you have seborrheic dermatitis or a similar condition, like psoriasis and eczema. From there, your dermatologist can develop a treatment plan to help control your seborrheic dermatitis. They also have access to prescription medications that you can't get anywhere else that are designed to control this skin disorder. You can also take the time while you're there to get your skin pampered and any other problems addressed at the same time, like fine lines and other signs of aging skin.
Seborrheic dermatitis may cause a lot of itchiness, but the best solution isn't always the easiest one. If your seborrheic dermatitis is making you miserable, put down the hydrocortisone cream and pick up the phone to contact a dermatology office like Advanced Dermatology & Skin Cancer Specialists today.