Eczema is a chronic skin condition that affects an estimated 35 million Americans at any given time. It’s more common in children, but adults and kids both struggle with the insatiable itching, and inflamed skin and painful rashes that come with eczema.
For some, this condition can be absolutely debilitating. If you’re struggling with eczema please know that you are not alone, and there are fantastic treatment options out there.
Two of the best and most popular eczema medications out there are Locoid and Elidel. Below, we’ll break down how they work and you can decide which is the best for you.
How Locoid Works
Locoid is a topical cream that your doctor can prescribe to you for eczema and a variety of other skin conditions.
The active ingredient in Locoid is hydrocortisone butyrate, which makes it a medium strength corticosteroid. This active ingredient helps reduce the swelling, redness, and itch that comes with eczema. It can also be used to treat allergic reactions, dermatitis and severe dandruff.
How To Use Locoid
This is a topical cream that you rub on your body. But due to its strength, speak with your doctor before using it on your face, groin, or underarms.
Typically, you are supposed to apply the cream 2-3 times daily, using just a tiny amount to cover the affected areas. Once you’re done applying, wash your hands (unless you’re treating your hands) and keep the treated areas open, allowing air to flow over of them.
Make sure to avoid getting this cream in your eyes, as it can cause or worsen glaucoma.
It sounds counter-intuitive, but the side effects of Locoid can include stinging, burning, irritation and dryness when the medication is first applied to the skin.
This only happens because the corticosteroid in the cream is so strong and it may take your body some time to get used to its effects. Over time, these symptoms should dissipate, if they appear at all. Consult your doctor if these symptoms do not go away in a few days.
Other, more serious side effects may occur, including stretch marks, severe acne, extreme hair growth, and skin discoloration. If any of these symptoms occur, consult your doctor immediately.
More commonly in children, Locoid can leak into the bloodstream, leading to side effects of having too many corticosteroids in your blood. These side effects include weight loss, headache, extreme fatigue, and dizziness.
Remember though, all of these side effects are extremely rare and if your doctor has prescribed Locoid to you, he’s determined that the benefits of the cream outweigh the potential hazards. Trust your doctor, trust the process, and the eczema should gently fade away.
How Elidel Works
Elidel is another topical cream your doctor can prescribe for treatment of your eczema. The active ingredient in Elidel is pimecrolimus, an immunosuppression agent. It works by reducing the inflammation and redness in the skin that causes eczema.
Elidel is typically prescribed to people who are not able to use other eczema medications or have not responded to other eczema medications.
Because it is an immunosuppressor, Elidel is not a good eczema treatment option for any with a weakened immune system.
How To Use Elidel
Before applying, wash your hands with soap and water.
When clean, apply a modest amount of the topical cream to the affected areas of your body and wash your hands (unless your hands are to be treated). Typically, you are supposed to do this twice daily but make sure to consult your doctor or pharmacist first. They should give you more specific instructions.
Like with Locoid, avoid getting the cream in your mouth or eyes. Do not apply to this cream to open wounds or infected areas, as this will cause Elidel to seep into your bloodstream.
The medication is supposed to clear up your skin in about six weeks, so consult your doctor if nothing improves after that time.
Like with Locoid, Elidel can cause your skin to scratch or burn immediately after applying, as well as possible headaches.
Again, this should only last a few days at most as your body gets accustomed to the treatment.
If you experience signs of an infection such as fever or sore throat, consult your doctor immediately, as this can sometimes be a more serious side effect of Elidel.
If you experience a new rash or itching of the face, tongue, or throat, consult your doctor immediately as well, as this is sometimes the result of an allergic reaction caused by Elidel.
These side effects are rare, however, as Elidel works for the vast majority of people.
Which One Is Best For You?
It’s hard to say without having a comprehensive report of your medical history like your doctor would.
What we can say, however, is that if you’ve recently recovered from a cold or flu, recently had an organ transplant, or have an immunodeficiency disorder, Elidel is not for you.
As we’ve mentioned Elidel works in part by suppressing your immune system, which helps reduce the inflammation on your skin. If your immune system is weak before taking Elidel, this unfortunately opens up the door for bacteria and viruses to attack your body while your defenses are down.
The last thing you want to do to while curing your eczema is to contract another disease. If you think you may have a weakened immune system, consult your doctor before prescribes you Elidel. He may suggest another medication instead.
Ideally, however, if a patient is perfectly healthy, either cream should work in treating eczema.
Time To Feel Better
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Prescription drugs have become prohibitively expensive, but you shouldn’t have to worry about finances when it comes to your health, and we’re here to help.