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Steroidal cream vs calamine lotion
Old 03-26-2010, 01:32 PM   #1
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Steroidal cream vs calamine lotion

For some time , I 've had a minor skin issue on my back....itches, rough skin,
etc. I finally broke down and saw a dermatologist. She prescribed an antibiotic like neosporin ointment with gauze covering. 2 wks later things were worse so she requested the neosporin w/o the covering (tape was irritating skin?). She said it probably was infected so she wanted to get that under control first. Then she prescribed a steroidal cream (fluocininide 0.05%). In my understanding, that was to minimize the itching/irritation so I wouldn't scratch and infect it again. Now things are much better and she said to continue with the steroidal cream for 3-4 more days. Looks like the cream might not quite make it that long.

I'm wondering if calamine lotion does the same thing as the steroidal cream as far as minimizing the irritation and the scratch desire. And if so, is there a shelf life to calamine lotion which we've had for who knows how long. If there is a shelf life, does it make it ineffective or dangerous?

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Old 03-26-2010, 09:43 PM   #2
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I would say that a steroid cream is doing much more than just relieving the itch. Call and get a refill or just use less to make it last the next 3-4 days. You can use steroid creams very sparingly and they will have a huge impact on skin problems.

I feel for you. I hate itchy rashes.

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Old 03-26-2010, 10:01 PM   #3
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Neosporin contains neomycin, an antibiotic that frequently causes skin (topical) allergies. I never prescribe it. Polysporin is a similar ointment but without the neomycin.

I don't know what your specific problem is, but I have "cured" many skin "infections" by just stopping Neosporin. Just saying... worth asking your doc about that possibility.
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Old 03-26-2010, 11:24 PM   #4
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Calamine does not have a steroid in it. It has a numbing agent, camphor and zinc. It may or may not help, but to get the closest thing OTC to the fluocinonide would be hydrocortisone cream (Cortaid, etc).
The strongest OTC 1% is not very strong vs. the fluocinonide 0.05% but at least would be something similar until the rash is gone.
Using calamine past the expiration date would probably not be harmful, just not AS effective vs being in date, but I would go with the hydrocortisone since the fluocinonide is showing some kind of improvement in the rash. Plus it is cheap, couple of bucks for a store brand. Look in the first aid section.
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Old 03-27-2010, 01:25 AM   #5
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My sis got a serious rash from using neosporin on a small cut! We now use polysporin because of her experience!

My daughter has very rashy legs and aquaphor has been great at getting the rash to go away completely. Any sign of a flare up and we immediately slab it on, so maybe ask about that in terms of preventive/maintenence for your condition?
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Old 03-27-2010, 07:57 AM   #6
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Many thanks to all for your wisdom/knowledge. I hadn't heard about that Neosporin/polysporin difference . Wonder if that would show up immediately? Used a 2 tube package w/o apparent incident but I guess I'll return the 2nd package and hope Costco restocks w/ the polysporin instead. Now I realize I was confusing the hydrocortisone and the fluocinonide........had read a bit and thought what I was using was low strength even at a percent or two and was surprised to see it was "only" 0.05%. Will have to remember also the aquaphor. Bookmarking this thread.

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