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Steroids are anti-inflammatory medications that are often used to treat severe pain, breathing troubles and other ailments where inflammation is a concern. Steroids can also be used as an acne treatment in cases where the acne is severely inflamed and needs to be mitigated. You should not undergo a steroid acne treatment unless prescribed to do so by your doctor. If you have such a prescription, here are some steps to keep in mind.
Identify the Cause of your Acne
Before you engage in any steroid regimen, you should make sure that what you are about to undertake is going to be effective. Medical research has demonstrated that corticosteroid creams, for example, rarely improve acne. In fact, such cream can cause what is known as steroid acne. If you are seeking out a steroid acne treatment, it should be for acne that is very badly inflamed. If your acne is particularly red and swollen, then certain steroids might be prescribed that can help mitigate these symptoms.
Take the Medication Regularly
While topical cream is the traditional acne treatment, steroids will be most helpful to the symptoms if they are taken orally, such as through a dose of prednisone. Be sure to regulate the amount you take, as an overdose of steroids is a problem that nobody wants to face. If you have trouble remembering when to take your medication, set an alarm or place the prednisone in a pillbox with other vitamins to make sure you are taking it regularly.
Explore Supplementary Options
Steroids will reduce acne inflammation, but they will not solve a bad case of acne on their own. This treatment will work best if you combine it with other anti-acne medications, such as over the counter creams containing salicylic acid. If you are experiencing bad acne in only a few spots, a sulfur treatment might work better. Regardless of what other solutions you choose, be sure to talk to your doctor and the supplementary medications to make sure you are not putting yourself at risk for any serious side effects.
Be Ready to Stop Treatment
Acne inflammation that is treated through oral steroids usually decreases in swelling within five days. Once the redness has gone away, you should consider ending your steroid dosages and focusing on using a supplementary treatment. Regardless of how effective they are, you should definitely not continue steroid usage for more than two weeks. Additionally, keep in mind that steroids decrease the efficacy of the immune system, so do not engage in steroid usage if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms or if you have a compromised immune system.
Overall, steroid usage should be reserved for particularly bad cases of inflamed acne and combined with more traditional creams or pads. The good news is that steroids tend to be very effective, and you should see your symptoms clearing up within a matter of days if used properly. This is especially good if your inflammation is bad enough to cause pain or bleeding. If acne is making you suffer, a brief steroid treatment should end that pain very quickly.