Occlusive Dressing Technique
Occlusive dressings may be used for the management of psoriasis or other recalcitrant rub a small amount of cream into the lesion until it disappears. Reapply the preparation leaving a thin coating on the lesion, cover with pliable nonporous film, and seal the edges. If needed, additional moisture may be provided by covering the lesion with a dampened clean cotton cloth before the nonporous film is applied or by briefly wetting the affected area with water immediately prior to applying the medication. The frequency of changing dressings is best determined on an individual basis. It may be convenient to apply Triamcinolone acetonide cream under an occlusive dressing in the evening and to remove the dressing in the morning (., 12-hour occlusion). When utilizing the12-hour occlusion regimen, additional cream should be applied, without occlusion, during the day. Reapplication is essential at each dressing change. If an infection develops, the use of occlusive dressings should be discontinued and appropriate antimicrobial therapy instituted.
It is important to use the correct amount of topical steroid for your eczema, as instructed by your healthcare professional. Topical steroids should be applied with clean hands so that the skin just glistens. It can sometimes be difficult to judge how much steroid to use and there are guidelines on the amount required to cover body areas that are affected by eczema. These are based on the Finger Tip Unit (FTU), and explained in detail in our fact sheet which you can download as a pdf from the related documents to the right of this page.
Prescriptions written for topical steroids should include explicit instructions about where and how often to apply the preparation, and the body areas where use must be avoided. Pharmacists should ensure these directions are included on the dispensing label. Prescribers should bear in mind that patients may keep unused or leftover corticosteroid skin preparations for some time after they are prescribed and thus forget the original indication or instructions for use. The prescribing of unnecessarily large quantities should be avoided. Patients should be warned not to share their topical steroid preparation with other people as this may result in unsafe application to unsuitable areas such as the face, as well as the potentially inappropriate treatment of undiagnosed skin conditions.