Corticosteroids are known to streamline responses to stresses, your immunity levels as well as manage inflammation or internal swelling. Man-made versions of these natural substances help treat skin problems as well as a few autoimmune conditions. Such artificial forms are also administered for replacement therapies, especially when your adrenal glands do not function to an optimal level. Given this backdrop, desonide is low-power topical steroid belonging to the genre called mild corticosteroids.  How does this drug compare against hydrocortisone? It becomes essential to know more about this steroidal med.

Skin problems such as inflammation or swelling, rashes, itchiness as well as drying need timely treatment. These conditions may show up due to multiple factors namely microbial infections, diseases like eczema, psoriasis etc. In some cases, insect bites may also cause rashes or bruises on your skin. Weaker forms of corticosteroids are used for treating such topical conditions; these topical steroidal applications are used on face, armpits, diaper areas, body folds such as groin, etc. In this light, medications such as hydrocortisone, desonide, etc. are commonly prescribed for skin conditions.

What is hydrocortisone?

This drug is a corticosteroid; owing to its milder form, it is administered for treatment of skin conditions like swelling of skin, eczema, rashes, psoriasis (an outcome of an exponential multiplication of skin cells), skin allergies, itchiness and insect bites. Chief chemicals of this med help reduce signs such as redness or discoloration of skin, inflammation and itchiness. Dosage plan of this drug depends on severity of your skin condition, presence of other skin diseases or infections, your age and presence of a family history of skin problems.

What is desonide?

This is a topical med; it is sold both as a generic form and as a branded formulation. This belongs to a class of meds known as corticosteroids; its use reduces episodes of reddening of skin, swelling of skin as well as itchiness. It is made in multiple forms namely, lotion, ointment and a cream. In some countries, it is also sold in the form of a gel. The generic form of this med is sold at a much lesser cost. At times, it is used in combination with other drugs. Those who have prior allergies to corticosteroids must not use this medication.

Comparison between hydrocortisone and desonide

The key difference between these corticosteroids is desonide is cheaper than its counterpart. Also, desonide is very mild and owing to this, it is unlikely to cause any major side effects. The flip side however is, as the strength is not high, both these drugs may not work for all people i.e., some people may need a stronger steroidal med. Use of desonide for a fairly longer duration may distort your hormonal balance. On the other hand, administration of hydrocortisone for more than 10 days can cause thinning of skin and may delay healing of broken skin.

Another major difference in between desonide and hydrocortisone is the former is used for atopic dermatitis as well as inflammatory conditions. On the other hand, hydrocortisone is used mostly for swelling and itchiness of skin. Use of hydrocortisone may trigger risks of infections – especially, viral infections. Those who have not taken shots for viral conditions must inform their doctor about their dosage plan. Administration of desonide for long can decrease the level of hormones your body makes.

Side effects to be aware of and precautions to be followed while topical corticosteroids

These meds are unlikely to trigger acute side effects or severe discomforts. In a few instances though, minor discomforts like drying of skin, reddening of the skin, irritation of skin, abnormal hair growth as well as a burning sensation have been witnessed. In very some remote cases, adverse side effects such as thinning of skin, appearance of scars or a discoloration are noticed. Many of these side effects are known to disappear as your system gets used to the key chemicals used in these corticosteroids. However, if one or more of these adverse reactions do not go away, it is time to talk to your treating physician without any further delay.

Corticosteroids are absorbed inside the cells of your skin. The key capabilities of these steroids reduce natural chemicals that trigger inflammation or internal swelling.  It is unsafe to cover the damaged part of skin using a wrap or a bandage. It is also harmful to wear tighter garments soon after applying this topical drug; always wear loose fitting clothes while using any of these topical corticosteroids.

It is essential to wash your arms and hands after handling this med – be it a cream or an ointment. People who forgot to wash their fingers may soon develop a numbing sensation. However, it is not recommended to wash away the medication after using it on skin. Also, it is important not stop using either of these topical meds all of a sudden. A sudden discontinuation may lead to relapse of itchiness, discoloration as well as swelling of skin.

Some users applied an overdose of these drugs; such practices are pursued in their enthusiasm to bring about a faster relief. Larger-than-prescribed doses of corticosteroids can result in mental conditions such as depression, turning overly anxious, etc. In some users, an overdosed condition may cause excessive levels of tiredness, sleeping disorders, etc. If any of these discomforts is turning in an acute condition, call 911 or reach out to the helpline of FDA (if you are an US resident); you can contact Health Canada or a poison control unit if you are staying in any of the Canadian provinces.

Other precautions: It is important to carry your steroidal med whenever you travel. These drugs must never be used inside your mouth, eyes or in your vaginal tract. These are strictly used as for topical applications and are applied on skin; for details on safe use of corticosteroids, talk to your physician.

In sum, milder versions of corticosteroids are used for treating skin problems like swelling, itchiness, rashes skin dryness. Desonide and hydrocortisone are two widely used corticosteroids. The key difference between these two meds is desonide is available at a cheaper cost due to its generic availability.  Administration of desonide for longer time can result in hormonal imbalance. Long term use of hydrocortisone may trigger thinning of skin. These two drugs also have a lot of similarities in between them. In order to know the subtler differences and above all, the risks involved in the use of either of these corticosteroids, talk to your caregiver.

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