Corticosteroids are steroids used to treat a wide range of medical conditions. These drugs are available in multiple dosage variants, namely – mild, moderate, potent and highly potent. Most steroids belonging to this class are made in various forms such as gels, ointments, creams, solution, etc. The most well-known use of corticosteroids rests in its ability to treat skin conditions as well as to reduce topical swelling. Can you use corticosteroids – such as clobetasol – to treat hemorrhoids? It becomes essential to know if it is safe to use corticosteroids such as this med.

Hemorrhoids are conditions wherein you witness inflammation of veins, often in the anal region or in the lower most part of the rectal passage. These conditions are commonly cited as reasons for bleeding from the rectum. As a result, you may observe painful spells each time you poop. In some remote instances, the linings of your veins stretch and become thin; these may cause veins to pop out, causing more discomforts. These are also commonly known as piles. Incidence of such conditions can lead to blood in stools – especially, if it is in an internal malady. On the other hand, external conditions can cause discomforts such as itchiness, bleeding, pain and inflammation of skin.

People who engage in anal sex, those experiencing pushy movements of bowel, people who take lesser share of fibers in their daily diet or those who are overweight / obese are likely to experience these conditions. In some cases, a sedative lifestyle (sitting for many hours without a change in posture) or lifting very heavy objects can also result in hemorrhoids. You are advised to consume a lot of water, eat foods rich in fibers (such as beans, nuts, fruits, vegetables, etc.) as well as workout / exercise regularly.

Use of clobetasol for treating hemorrhoids

This corticosteroid is used for managing skin conditions like discoloration, itchiness, drying as well as scaly skin. The active ingredients of clobetasol are known to work well for diseases like eczema (signs include dryness as well as itchiness), psoriasis (redness of skin as well as scaling) and a few other scalp conditions. The key function of this medication is to decrease discomforts like itchiness, reddening of skin as well as topical inflammation.

Like many topical meds, this drug is sold in multiple forms – namely, lotions, gels, creams, ointment, shampoos (for the scalp), etc. As this steroid is highly potent, its use is strictly under the supervision and guidance of a dermatologist or a qualified caregiver. Owing to this, dosages have to be strictly as per treatment plan of your physician. Due to high level of potency, it is never applied into your mouth or other sensitive organs like your eyes. For the same reason, the drug is never applied directly onto your rectum, anus or genital parts; as an extended precaution, never use it in your armpits (which is hypersensitive) and on creases of skin. In other words, for treating hemorrhoids – your treating physician may prescribe a few milder forms of steroids.


Other safety precautions associated with the use of clobetasol

So – as a foremost safety measure, this topical drug is always used after consulting with a qualified medical practitioner. It is harmful to apply this drug on areas where skin has already thinned down. This drug is seldom prescribed on children aged less than 12 years. In some cases – children aged 16 years have been prescribed to apply the topical form of this drug. In all such instances, dosages are to be applied after taking needful consent from your child’s doctor or a trained pediatrician.

In cases of adults, for treating conditions such as psoriasis as well as eczema, the drug is applied twice within a 24-hour timeline. Also, each dose is applied after providing a time interval of at least 8 hours in between. Adults are not advised to use the medicine in excessive quantities; this is because of the likely damage the active ingredients can cause to your adrenal glands. People who are living with allergies to steroids are known to develop a few acute side effects such as blurring of eyesight, erratic heartbeats (arrhythmia), frequent urges to urinate coupled with increase in the discharge of urine, etc. Prior hypersensitivity to steroids can also trigger marked levels of weariness, feeling drowsy and dizzy.

If you are planning to opt for a surgical intervention, your surgical team will suggest discontinuation of applying / using steroids such as clobetasol. It is a safe practice to stop using such meds at least for 2 weeks during the run-up to your surgery. It is harmful to use this drug along with other steroids (especially, corticosteroids) like hydrocortisone, betamethasone, etc. Co-administration of such drugs can lead to toxicity, and may trigger signs associated with an overdose.

Side effects of this drug you need to be aware of

Highly potent steroids like clobetasol can trigger some undesired side effects. Stinging sensation or a burning feeling may occur in most people. This is considered as very common, and is generally regarded as a minor side effect. Once your system gets used to the active ingredients of this drug, such irritation may cease to show up. However in some cases, discomforts such as itchiness, drying of skin, redness of the affected area, rashes and inflammation may occur. It is also likely to cause thinning down of skin when applied onto skin folds and on facial organs.

The above listed discomforts do not represent a complete list of all possible side effects. It is likely that you may witness some unlisted or unknown discomforts. Upon sensing such unlisted side effects, you are advised to call 911 (for residents of the US) or Health Canada (if you live in Canada).

In general, steroids like clobetasol are highly potent and hence are not used for rectal conditions such as hemorrhoids or piles. The drug is also never used on creases / folds of skin (such as armpits, in between your fingers, genital parts, etc.). So, a few milder forms of steroids are often used for treating hemorrhoids or other rectal conditions. As an added safety precaution, you are advised to consult with your medical team prior to start using this steroid for skin conditions like psoriasis as well as eczema.

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