Coping with Itchy Rashes

The itchiness of the skin can sometimes be quite intense, even causing difficulty sleeping at night. The scratching of the skin while trying to alleviate the itching can cause irritation and inflammation of the skin, as well as the development of red patches on the skin. It is not uncommon for people to complain of itchy skin, not realising very dry skin is the cause. You can learn more about Sjögren’s Syndrome at the British Association of Sjögren’s Syndrome (BSSA) website HERE.

  • Individuals avoiding all sun exposure should consider having their serum Vitamin D measured.
  • Topical corticosteroids include hydrocortisone, alclometasone, beclometasone, clobetasone, diflucortolone, fludroxycortide, fluocinolone, fluocinonide, fluocortolone, fluticasone, mometasone and triamcinolone.
  • If you are unable to contact your MS team, you may need to bring this to the attention of any health professional who offers you steroid treatment.
  • When you scratch the skin it becomes irritated, increasing your risk of infection and making the eczema worse.

Along with causing dry eyes and dry mouth, SS can also affect the skin too when the sebaceous and sweat glands that secrete oils and sweat are affected. When the skin becomes dry due to decreased sweat and oil production it often becomes itchy as well. This can become especially apparent in the wintertime when the artificial indoor heat makes the dry winter air even drier.

Topical corticosteroids

Topical medicines are applied to the skin or used as eye drops or nasal sprays. If used as recommended by the manufacturer they are usually absorbed into the bloodstream in only very small amounts. Topical corticosteroids include hydrocortisone, alclometasone, beclometasone, clobetasone, diflucortolone, fludroxycortide, fluocinolone, fluocinonide, fluocortolone, fluticasone, mometasone and triamcinolone. Potent and very potent steroids should be carefully monitored and limited to a few weeks of use, after which a milder steroid should be substituted if possible.

  • Methylprednisolone can irritate the lining of your stomach and cause side effects like heartburn or indigestion.
  • When the rash comes up, topical or oral corticosteroids, as well as oral antihistamine may help to reduce itching.
  • Often the person is not aware of this increased pressure, as there are no early symptoms.
  • Following an increasing number of patient enquiries to the US National Eczema Association, Hajar and colleagues sought to review the current evidence regarding addiction and withdrawal of topical steroid withdrawal.
  • Many of the reports we have received have the recurring theme that patients found the information on topical steroid withdrawal reactions for themselves rather than receiving a diagnosis from a healthcare professional.
  • It’s run by the medicines safety watchdog called the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

TSEBT can also increase your risk of other skin cancers (not the melanoma type) many years later. TSEBT is usually used for treating skin lymphomas that have not responded to topical treatments (such as topical chemotherapy or PUVA) or have come back (relapsed) after treatment. It is very effective at treating skin lymphoma but the lymphoma usually comes back eventually. About half of all people using tacrolimus ointment experience skin reactions such as redness, a burning sensation or itching, but this usually gets better within the first week of treatment.

Glossary of Drugs and Side Effects

The papulopustular variant can be differentiated from the erythematoedematous subtype by the prominent features of pustules and papules, along with erythema, but less frequently swelling, oedema, burning, and stinging. We aimed to identify relevant published scientific studies or reports about topical steroid withdrawal. To identify relevant papers, the PubMed search engine was used to identify citations from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books published up to February 2020. As a result, the numbers of cases for each steroid medicine in Table 1 are not directly comparable, and a higher number of reports should not be interpreted as a larger risk being present for individual steroid medicines.

Regularly examining yourself and being aware of any changes that occur will help you to identify any problems at an early stage. Pay close attention to ulcerated areas in your mouth or genitals that don’t heal and persist for a long time. Visit your GP immediately if you notice any changes that you’re concerned about.

Stronger steroid creams are available if you’re finding that weaker treatments aren’t proving to be effective or if you have particularly thick skin. There are many different types and strengths of topical corticosteroids. Topical steroid withdrawal might sound very concerning, but it’s an uncommon issue that you’re unlikely to develop. Even so, it’s sensible to follow treatment instructions carefully and be prepared to wean yourself off treatment when it’s time to stop if you’ve been applying it heavily for a long period.

How long does it take to get over steroid withdrawal?

There may be more cases within the MHRA Yellow Card database that are potentially topical steroid withdrawal reactions, but due to a lack of information we cannot determine them as such at this time. Topical corticosteroids are safe and highly effective treatments when used correctly. As with any medicine, topical corticosteroids can cause side effects, although not everybody gets these. We conducted a comprehensive review to assess the evidence available.

Non-urgent advice:

Not all relapses need treatment as, in most cases, the symptoms will gradually improve on their own. If the symptoms of your relapse are causing significant problems, such as affecting your eyesight or making walking difficult, your MS team or GP may suggest that you have a short course of high dose steroids. They should explain the benefits and potential side effects of taking steroids so that you can decide together on the best course of action in your particular situation. In 2000 based on skin patch test results obtained from a large cohort of corticosteroid allergic patients [20].

We have information on staging on our pages about T-cell skin lymphomas and B-cell skin lymphomas. In essence, simply following the course of treatment prescribed to you, not exceeding the recommended dosage, frequency, or duration, will leave you fairly unlikely to develop topical steroid withdrawal. Topical steroids should normally only be used in short courses of two weeks or less, unless directed by your GP or consultant.

Stem cell transplants

We’re sorry if we weren’t able to use your comment in the article this time. Avoiding sunlight/UV
People who are sensitive to UV light should avoid exposure to direct sunlight and wear a hat and long sleeves to provide a barrier. You should use a sunscreen that has an SPF of at least 50 and a four-star UVA rating. All forms of skin rashes in lupus are made worse by exposure to light (particularly sunlight).

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