Prof. Hugo Van Bever is the Head of National University Hospital’s Pediatric Allergy, Immunology & Rheumatology Department. He is also an active member of the board APAPARI (Asian Pacific Association of Paediatric Allergy, Respirology and Immunology) and has published more than 250 papers in national and international journals. His main research interest areas are paediatric allergy and paediatric respiratory infections.
Marcie Mom: Thanks Prof Hugo for taking time to be part of our Friday Q&A with Doctors. I’m so glad that you can take time to answer some of the questions that have been on my mind. Let’s start with the one that most parents are concerned with – steroid.
Many parents are worried about applying steroid cream for their child’s eczema. Recent research has shown that there is no major negative effect on the skin of children who have applied topical steroid over approximately 10 months, including no evidence of skin thinning.
What guidelines will you provide parents when applying steroids for their child (in terms of when to apply, how much to apply and which part of the skin to apply which steroid’s strength)?
Prof Hugo: Use mild steroids (for children) maximum 2 x day. Use them only on active inflammation (= “red” patches) and use them after cleaning the patches. Don’t use steroids on a dry skin or on old lesions.
Marcie Mom: Thanks, I’ve been using chlorhexidine to clean the patches before applying steroid, just as you’ve advised. I find that it’s more effective and the eczema patch usually disappears within few days.