Topical Steroid Withdrawal - Causes, Symptoms & Relief

Topical Steroid Withdrawal - Causes, Symptoms & Relief

What is Topical Steroid Withdrawal?

Topical Steroid Withdrawal (TSW) is a condition that affects people who have been prescribed topical steroid creams and discontinued their use. Topical steroids can help to treat various skin conditions by reducing inflammation. Steroids are naturally occurring hormones that are released into the body whenever there is stress, disease or trauma. The immune system releases hormones like this to fight against bacteria and viruses, however, this also releases toxins that cause damage to the tissues. 

Topical steroids work by tempering this action and preventing the tissue damage that excessive inflammation can cause. They constrict the blood vessels around the inflamed and wounded skin to reduce the swelling and discomfort. 

Please note: By any means, we certainly aren’t questioning the safety or efficacy of steroids. Though with recommended topical steroid treatments, please ensure they are used as directed by your healthcare provider, which also should avoid topical steroid withdrawal and its effects.

Topical steroid creams come in forms like ointments, creams, lotions, gels, sprays, foams, and shampoos.

Why does the skin become addicted to topical steroids?

The cause of Topical Steroid Withdrawal is not known however those who have suffered from it say a commonality is long-term use which is often the case with eczema and psoriasis sufferers. The longer you use the steroid and the stronger the dosage, the more likely you are to experience symptoms.

You may need more and more steroids to clear the skin in the same way. And thus a dependence is created. Eczema and psoriasis sufferers may choose to come off the topical steroid cream as they begin to lose effectiveness in treating outbreaks.


How do I know if I have Topical Steroid Withdrawal?

The symptoms include redness, itching, flaking and dryness that just won’t seem to go away, even when using the topical steroids. Topical steroid withdrawal can be a challenging journey, marked by intense itching, burning, and skin that feels raw and sensitive. This withdrawal process can be frustrating and disheartening for those experiencing it, as the symptoms can sometimes be even worse than the eczema itself. 

Managing TSW symptoms lies in keeping the skin hydrated and nourished, with gentle products that don’t cause further dryness, irritation or harsh side effects. Our range of moisturisers is formulated to provide deep hydration and soothing and is designed to be suitable for eczema and psoriasis-prone skin. The ingredients are selected especially for their skin-nurturing properties!


What can help soothe the symptoms of Topical Steroid Withdrawal?

Recovering from Topical Steroid Withdrawal requires a gentle and holistic approach to soothe irritated skin and repair the skin barrier. Firstly, it’s crucial to discontinue the use of the topical steroid under the guidance of a healthcare professional. Maintaining proper hydration is crucial. MooGoo's range of moisturisers offers a gentle and effective solution for managing TSW symptoms. Our products are crafted with natural ingredients, free from harsh chemicals and steroids, making them suitable for even the most sensitive skin.

Removing harsh cleansers and soaps and replacing them with gentler options like our Milk Wash and Ultra Gentle Cleanser with Ceramides is the first step to keeping skin calm and preventing further dryness. Secondly, use a moisturiser with gentle and hydrating ingredients. You want to make sure the moisturiser you are using doesn’t contain any irritants like petroleum-based ingredients, parabens or phenoxyethanol. 

A thicker, barrier cream with Ceramides is also a good option as an additional step to lock in the moisture and provide extra support in keeping irritants out of the broken skin. Our Double Cream with Ceramides uses an innovative barrier technology with emollient lipids and potent antioxidants to create a cream that releases moisture as it is rubbed in. The barrier also feels far less thick, hot and oily than traditional barrier creams which can be uncomfortable to apply.

Whether you are dealing with mild or severe symptoms, our range of creams, lotions and washes are a great option to help you on your journey to recovery and afterwards!

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