Why You Should Swear Off Hydrocortisone Creams

I am a recovering hydrocortisone cream addict.

It’s probably one of the deepest, darkest secrets of The Makeup Dummy, but I used to swear by hydrocortisone creams.

The first time I used it was right after I was diagnosed with eczema. Even though I fell in love with natural beauty remedies, I’ve always stocked up on hydrocortisone creams throughout the years.

It did wonders for my eczema on the odd occasions it dit flare up. And this magic potion could even make acne spots dissappear!

To be honest I’ve always had fairly good skin. Aside from the usual acne attack in my early teens and the odd spot of eczema on my chin. After ditching most of the store bought junk and using mostly natural and pharmacy products, my skin had never been better. For years I was living in clear skin heaven.

And then it happened. One day a seemingly innocent dry patch on my chin turned into a rash from hell.

I was on a holiday so I wanted to look nice. I remember thinking ‘Luckily I packed my hydrocortisone cream!’ And surely enough, after a few days that dry patch went away. Hydrocortisone cream for the win once more!

If only I knew I had just made it worse.

What followed was a non stop battle with an itchy, red face. The rash came back with a vengeance. And blinded by my addiction I applied hydrocortisone cream once again. For months the rash dissappeared to only reappear a few days later. After a while the rash had taken over half of my face, and I felt like I could cry myself to sleep at night.

After months I finally went to see a doctor. We quickly discovered I had dermatitis perioralis.

Dermatitis perioralis is an inflammation of the skin around the mouth. It forms tini tiny bumps all around your mouth, forming one giant patch of redness. Just google it, I dare you.

It never occured to me that it could be anything but the usual eczema. To me, dry red skin + face has always equaled eczema.

Dermatitis perioralis has many causes. But after much research online I found that it has been strongly linked to the use of hydrocortisone creams. Bingo.

Hydrocortisone creams weaken your skin, making it prone to other skin conditions. Which is particularly worrying for people with sensitive skin, like eczema sufferers. Oh, the irony.

My doctor gave me a course of antibiotics to clear it up. Finally a treatment that worked! But I never want to take those again. I felt like I had a cold the entire time I was taking them. And I got an antagonizing sunburn on a not so sunny day.

The first thing I did to celebrate my clear skin was chuck my ones loved hydrocortisone cream in the bin.

The best way I’ve found to treat eczema on your face is to cleanse with oatmeal cleansing grains and use a beeswax based lotion to moisturize dry spots. Since most of my eczema occurs around my mouth I also only use beeswax based lip balms.

Let’s fight eczema naturally!

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