Corticosteroids. Retinoids. Injections. These are just a few categories of prescription medicine that millions of people all over the world turn to in order to deal with severe skin conditions. From painful eczema to extreme plaque psoriasis, the more serious the skin problem, the more likely people are to head to their local dermatologist and get a prescription – which is totally understandable. I mean, if you’re in pain and/or have an unsightly looking blotch of skin, the reasonable thing to do is get it checked out pronto.
And now for a short disclaimer: this post in no way denigrates prescription medications for skin conditions or attempts to assert that over-the-counter products can treat what prescriptions claim to be able to.
However, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each – especially when it comes to our skin.
Medicine and the Acid Mantle
Because our skin has this incredible innate feature called the acid mantle. It’s our natural barrier support. Think of it like a thick, warm jacket that protects you from cold elements. When you’re not wearing it or when the zipper isn’t pulled up all the way, you can freeze.
Similarly, when our acid mantle is weakened, which can happen for a whole variety of reasons (like using soap, having a lower immune system, genetics, etc.), our skin can develop problems. Serious problems.
So, do prescriptions like steroids reinforce your natural barrier? Or do they mitigate the effect without healing the cause? Let’s look at some of the science.
There’s so much information about how our skin is capable of repairing itself (check out some here) and, when given a little (or a lot) of help from soap-free, pH-balanced products, it does so faster and for longer.
What to Use Along with a Prescription Medicine
Consider using a skincare product like Sebamed that’s formulated at the same pH level as healthy skin in tandem with a prescribed topical solution to help address both the cause and effects of whatever it is that your skin is going through.