I prescribed you a hormonal ointment, so what?

I prescribed you a hormonal ointment, so what?

Author: Chen Yulan

I prescribed you a hormonal ointment, so what?

Hormonoid ointment is a drug widely used in dermatology. At first glance, it looks extremely effective. Other ointments cannot be fixed after ten and a half months of use. After use of hormones, it seems to turn on and off. Every day it gets better. It seems easy to get everything done. But in fact, many people have also heard that there are some annoying side effects of external hormones. When they receive an ointment, they should ask, "Doctor, does this medicine you prescribed contain hormones? I don't want to use hormones." .I heard that it is harmful to body. It hurts a lot!"

I prescribed you a hormonal ointment, so what?

What are side effects of hormone ointment?

Many people understand detrimental effect of hormones on body being fat and hairy, women can have irregular periods, children can affect development, older people can even suffer from osteoporosis or diabetes! In fact, these are mainly adverse reactions that occur after long-term oral administration of high doses or injections.

Ointments for topical application mainly act locally on skin, and their actual amount absorbed into blood is very small, rarely exceeding 5%. This affects body's own endocrine axis and causes adverse reactions such as high blood sugar, high blood pressure. , hypocalcemia, edema In children, in principle, it is impossible to limit growth and development.

Even pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and other special populations can use it with caution under guidance of a physician if necessary for medication.

Adverse reactions that can be caused by external steroids:

  • Atrophy and thinning of skin.
  • Infections, rashes
  • Hormonoid dependent dermatitis
  • Some Sanwu cosmetics are of unknown origin due to illegal addition of glucocorticoids. Due to strong anti-inflammatory function in early stage of use, skin often looks smooth and white, like peeled boiled eggs. After a long time, I started getting red blood streaks, acne breakouts, and my skin was very sensitive. The more I used it, worse it got, but after stopping it got worse, so I had to see a doctor and adjust slowly. But even after using this kind of cosmetics for more than six months, face will be rotten at most, and there will be no irregular menstruation.

    What causes adverse reactions?

    In most cases, adverse reactions to topical corticosteroid ointments are related to duration of their use. Due to its high effectiveness, some people who do not know what it is often feel after using it: "Ah! It really is effective." The old eczema recurs and they no longer see a doctor. They just buy an ointment and apply it for a few months. Gradually I found out that I could not stop taking this medicine and it recurred as soon as I stopped! As a result, I had to go back to doctor.

    In fact, in our country, glucocorticoids can be divided into 4 classes according to strength of their effect. For different strengths of glucocorticoid ointments, there are different restrictions on duration of use:

    I prescribed you a hormonal ointment, so what?

    The table is based on 2015 Chinese Medical Association consensus on standardization of topical glucocorticoids

    Some baby eczema creams and compound ointments for tinea pedis often silently add powerful hormone clobetasol propionate. While there are labels on ingredient list, most people don't look at them, so they often don't know. Unconsciously used for a long time, which leads to adverse hormonal reactions.

    Don't be afraid, there's a doctor here!

    When used judiciously and in a standardized manner, topical glucocorticoids are generally safe and highly effective, which could be good news for many people with medical conditions.

    For example, many parents' nightmare is childhood eczema because it always comes and goes, it's not good not to take medicine, and they're afraid they'll become addicted when they hear they have hormones. If you do not dare to use it, child's condition will not be cured, and both adults and children will suffer more. In fact, excessive caution regarding glucocorticoids is an important reason for poor treatment effect of dermatitis, eczema, skin diseases.

    As with desonide, China's most widely available weak hormone ointment, chance of adverse reactions is very low, and effect is obvious with standardized use under guidance of a physician. When doctors prescribe, most of them also take into account tenderness of baby's skin. When used continuously for more than 2 weeks, they switch to other ointments, less effective, but not hormonal, at intervals of 2 weeks. This interrupts continuous drug treatment to avoid adverse reactions. So don't worry too much. Continue to moisturize your skin at usual time. When situation is serious, just take your medicine and follow your doctor's advice.

    Soas far as topical hormones are concerned, we should be more vigilant about long-term abuse without knowing it, rather than hearing hormones change color and not even dare to use medicine prescribed by a doctor. For most inflammatory skin conditions, glucocorticoid ointment is still first line treatment and should not be blindly discarded.


    Li Linfeng, Gu Heng, Wen Hai. Expert consensus on standardization of topical glucocorticoids[J]. Chinese Journal of Dermatology, 2015, 48(2): 73–75