Steroids are a common treatment for eczema to target inflamed and itchy skin regions and can be prescribed as an oral medication or topical cream. Topical creams are typically geared towards milder cases. They can cost between $12-$63 per prescription. Oral steroids are generally reserved for severe eczema and can cost between $5-$22 for a ten-tablet prescription without insurance coverage.
How do Steroids cost without insurance?
Eczema is a chronic (long-lasting) condition that comes in waves or flare-ups that come and go. Flare-ups can cause numerous symptoms, such as itchy, dry, and cracked skin. Nevertheless, steroids are the first line of defense to relieve the symptoms medically and manage the flare-up and are one of the most affordable forms of treatment. Steroids can come as a topical or oral treatment. The prescription course for both treatment forms is not for long-term continual use as treatment should last about 7-14 days.
Topical steroids are creams, lotions, and ointments prescribed by a dermatologist to reduce inflammation and itchiness caused by eczema. Topical steroids are prescribed to combat eczema; the treatment course is usually between 7-14 days. Topical steroids are generally safe for mild eczema flare-ups and are one of the most affordable treatment options.
Cost of Topical Steriods Without Insurance
|Triamcinolone 0.1% cream (15 g)||$12|
|Hydrocortisone 2.5% cream (30 g)||$50|
|Clobetasol 0.005% cream (15 g)||$89|
|Mometasone 0.1% cream (15)||$28|
|Betamethasone augmented 0.05% cream (15 g)||$63|
Oral steroids are usually taken by mouth but can also be administered as an injection. Orally steroids are generally prescribed for a set time to manage flare-ups and are not intended for long-term use. Prednisone is the most common oral steroid used to treat severe cases of eczema by reducing inflammation in the body and treating other conditions such as asthma. The Prednisone prescription is ten tablets of either 20mg or 50mg. Below is the cost of Prednisone 20mg and 50mg, without insurance and popular pharmacies.
Cost of Prednisone 20mg and 50mg (10 tablets)
|Pharmacy||20mg Cost||50mg Cost|
What Is Eczema?
Eczema or atopic dermatitis is a skin condition that causes dry, itchy, and inflamed skin. Eczema is a chronic or long-lasting condition that tends to cause bouts of flare-ups from time to time. Although eczema causes visible irritation to the skin, it is not contagious. Eczema often begins before age five and will continue into teenage years and adulthood. For most people, it occasionally flares and clears up for some time.
Eczema can appear anywhere on the body and vary in severity from person to person. Common symptoms of eczema include:
- Dry, cracked skin
- Rash on swollen skin
- Small raised bumps ( on darker skin)
- Crusting of the skin
- Thickened Skin
- Raw, sensitive skin from scratching
How is Eczema Diagnosed?
If you are experiencing patchy and itchy skin, your primary care physician will be able to help you patch test your skin for eczema or refer you to a dermatologist. Patch testing involves putting small amounts of different substances on your skin and covering it for a few days. During your follow-up visit, your doctor will examine your skin for signs of inflammation and reaction. Patch testing is also helpful in determining specific types of allergies.
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What Causes Eczema?
Several factors can contribute to eczema and eczema flare-ups. The development of eczema can be caused by a gene that weakens the skin’s ability to provide protection; this weakened barrier can lead to dryness and irritation from outside pollutants such as smoke. A weakened skin barrier might trigger an immune response that creates skin inflammation.
Anyone can develop eczema. However, there are a few risk factors that are an indication if you are at risk for developing eczema. If you have a history of persistent allergies, hay fever, or asthma, you are at a higher risk of developing eczema. Additionally, if any of your family members have eczema, your risk of developing it is significantly higher.
What triggers an eczema flare-up can vary from person to person; however, figuring out what triggers your eczema can help you manage your flare-ups and symptoms. Common Eczema triggers include:
- Wool Fabric
- Skin Infection
- Heat and Sweat
- Cleaning Products
- Smoke from Tobacco
- Cold and Dry Air
- Other Irritating Chemicals
Eczema-Related Health Complications
Although eczema comes with its own set of symptoms, eczema can also lead to other health complications. The chart below illustrates other health complications that can arise from eczema.
Eczema-Related Health Complications
|Health Conditions||Why It Happens|
|Asthma and Hay Fever||Asthma and hay fever can develop before or after you are diagnosed with eczema|
|Food Allergies||Eczema can cause additional food allergies that come with symptoms like itchy skin or hives|
|Chronic itchy, Scaly Skin||Eczema can cause a chronic condition called neurodermatitis, which starts with a patch of itchy skin; scratching the patch doesn’t relieve the itchy, but makes the severity worse ( hence the scratching continues) and damage the skin|
|Patches of Skin that's Darker or Lighter than the Surrounding Area||This is complicated after a rash or scratched area of inflation has healed. Post-inflammation can cause discoloration and hyperpigmentation, especially if you have a darker complexion|
|Skin Infections||Repeated scratching can break and damage the skin, creating cracks and open wounds. This increases the risk of infection as bacteria and viruses can enter the wound.|
|Irritant Hand Dermatitis||Common in individuals who use harsh soaps and hands are constantly wet|
|Allergiec Contact Dermatities||This occurs when you touch a substance or something you are allergic to and it causes an itchy rash|
|Sleep Problem||The consistent itchiness can interfere with your sleep|
|Mental health Conditions||Eczema (especially in severe cases) can lead to depression and anxiety|
How to Prevent and Manage Eczema
There are numerous ways to prevent flare-ups and manage your eczema. Doctors suggest developing a basic full-body skincare routine. A routine can help combat the dryness and itchiness that can come with everyday life.
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Moisturize your skin twice a day
Shea Butter, creams, and ointments help seal in moisture. It's best to choose a product that works well for your skin or is recommended by your doctor. Ideally, the best product will be effective, affordable, and unscented.
Take Daily Showers or Baths
Use warm water instead of hot water so the temperature won't irritate your skin. Also, limit your shower or bath time to about 10 minutes.
Use Gentle Cleanser
Similar to lotions and moisturizers, you want to be careful with the cleanser you use. Choose a cleanser that is dye, alcohol, and fragrance-free. Additionally, do not use a washcloth or loofah, as the material can be abrasive and irritate the skin.
Pat Your Skin Dry
After your bath or shower, you should gently pat the skin with a soft towel and then follow up with your moisturizer while the skin is still slightly damp (about three minutes after your shower).
Eczema is a common, non-contagious skin condition affecting thousands of people yearly. Although there is no cure for eczema, there are multiple ways to manage your flare-ups, including topical and oral steroid treatments. While the average price for a steroid prescription is only about $15 without insurance, that cost can add up over time as you manage your eczema long-term. Additionally, with the rising cost of healthcare and general inflation, prescription medication prices are expected to increase over the next few years.
While we live in a time of economic uncertainty, it's crucial to be certain about your health and healthcare. Even as prices rise, you can find peace of mind with Mira. For as low as $45 per month, you get access to discounted prescriptions, low-cost urgent care, and virtual primary care. Sign up today and take control of your healthcare!
Originally from Houston, Texas, Alexandra is currently getting her Master's in Public Health with a health policy certificate at Columbia University. One of her life goals is to own her own art gallery!