Dermatologists speak out to counter steroid myths

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Australians, including health professionals, need “re-education” about eczema and the dangers of steroids, according to the Australasian College of Dermatologists

Earlier this month the College released a position statement, a patient fact sheet and Q&A on the use of steroids used to treat eczema in children.

“The ACD position statement provides needed recommendations to GPs, nurses and pharmacists on the safe and effective use of steroids,” says President of the ACD, Associate Professor Chris Baker.

“Our focus is to improve outcomes for the skin health of individuals and the community as a whole.”

Sydney dermatologist Associate Professor Gayle Fischer is speaking out about the condition, and the fact that “parents and doctors somehow believe that treatment is more dangerous than the condition itself”.

“This leads them to search relentlessly for an external cause, most often an allergy, that is tangible and that they hope they can eliminate,” she says.

“This belief that treatment is dangerous is the most common cause for poorly controlled disease.

“I spend a great deal of time convincing patients to use the right treatment and reassuring them that it really is safe. Fortunately, now that I have grey hair, they tend to listen to me.

“Much better engagement with the public on social media is needed to counteract the agendas on the internet that deliver incorrect messages to patients. This is a fight we need to win.”

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