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Friday, 4 August 2017

How much steroids should I use?

I was instructed to apply the steroids "thinly" over the affected area of the skin. How thin is "thin"?

Why just a thin layer?
No, not because your doctor is fear of side effects of topical steroids, he or she should not be. A thin layer  is needed because a thicker layer does not equate an enhanced penetration or a better effect. (But not too thin as well, or there will be inadequate effect.)

How thin is thin? 
A thin layer is probably between 0.01 to 0.1mm. But it is impossible to measure that. So we usually use fingertip unit (FTU) as measurement instead.

If you squeeze the cream or ointment out from a tube with 5mm nozzle, and let it covers the tip until the first crease of on your index finger, that is 1 FTU.

1 FTU is roughly 0.5g for an average man, 0.4g for a woman, and even lesser for children.

And how much does 1 FTU covers?

One hand (front and back) or two palms.

Having said that, don't worry if you need to use slightly more or less. This is just a rough guide. As long as you keep the steroids on the affected / thick and rough skin area, you should be fine.

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