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What Is Topical Steroid Addiction?

Topical corticosteroid addiction (also referred to as TSA or ‘Red Skin Syndrome’) can occur when topical corticosteroids (‘steroid creams’) are inappropriately used or overused and the body becomes resistant to their effects.

What are the symptoms of Topical Steroid Addiction?

  • Spreading red rash like sunburn all over the body
  • Burning or stinging especially severe on the face or genitals
  • Intense itching and burning sensation on skin
  • Rash not able to be controlled by topical corticosteroid creams, even potent ones

TSA can result from prolonged, frequent, and inappropriate use of moderate to high potency topical corticosteroids, and especially affects for adult women who’ve used steroids to control their eczema for over a year.

Many people experiencing TSA describe the symptoms as being much worse than the eczema they’d first used steroids to control; they might also find that their condition needs stronger and stronger potencies of steroids to control, or that steroids are not having any effect on flare-ups.

They describe the intense burning feeling on areas of the body (ie face and arms) they haven’t so far had eczema as being a distinctly different sensation than itchy, dry, eczema flare-ups.

What Can Balmonds Do To Help?

Balmonds offer information and support, whether you’re going through topical steroid addiction, looking for safe long-term management strategies or wondering whether your symptoms match the condition.

Skin Salvation is a safe, effective, non-steroidal, intensively hydrating emollient that works in four crucial ways to help you manage your TSA or chronic dry skin:

  1. It is free from the preservatives, perfumes, parabens, essential oils, coconut oils, nut oils, soya, and other common irritants that can hurt so much when applied to such sore, sensitive skin.
  2. It nourishes depleted skin with the essential fatty acids, vitamins and other nutrients the epidermis needs to repair and regenerate.
  3. It uses beeswax to protect broken or raw areas by providing a fine, protective barrier over the skin - like a sticking plaster over a wound - reducing itchiness and stinging.
  4. It hydrates, softens and conditions severely dry, flaking or shedding skin.

For more information about TSA, its symptoms and how to manage them, go to the ITSAN website.

Hashtags to follow for peer-to-peer support: #thisisnoteczema #tsw

Current medical advice is not to use daily topical steroids continuously for more than two to four weeks; then the frequency should be tapered to twice weekly use.

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Posted on: May 07, 2019

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