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Infant diagnosed with "topical steroid withdrawal" after the family stopped using ointment

HONOLULU – Colby Chun is a bright, energetic and curious boy, but his family spent the first year of his life caring for his painful, dripping and sometimes bleeding skin, KITV reports.

The 21-Month-Old Boy When he was only a few months old, he was diagnosed with eczema, so his doctor prescribed a topical steroid ointment. When his skin cleared, his parents stopped applying the cream. Then his condition worsened.

"He screamed all night and could not sleep," Colby's father Matt said. "It was terrible."

They tried the cream again and it seemed to work, so they stopped it again.

"It's the rebound effect when the steroids are stopped," said Kristi, Colby's mother. "We would use it for a few days, and if we stopped using it, if we thought it was effective, we would stop, and then we would return and return."

Matt and Kristi were baffled and stressed. They were also their doctors.

They were looking for answers. Despite being pushed back by doctors, it was found that the culprit was on the steroid cream.

According to the National Eczema Association, topical steroids are widely used to treat eczema, but if overused or misused, the body may become addicted and react strongly. This condition is referred to as topical steroid pull or TSW.

"This could definitely be a difficult case just because the symptoms mimic many things we see," Dr. Paul Eakin, a pediatric emergency physician at Kapiolani Medical Center.

Dr. Eakin says that patients who complain of burning, stinging or light red skin after burning a steroid treatment are often diagnosed with skin infections or other conditions, not with TSW.

"It is quite rare to reach this severe grade, but I think patients or parents of children suffering from eczema should be generally cautious," he said.

Dr. Eakin recommends other creams and treatments for eczema, and like the chuns did, to cure natural cleansing methods with TSW.

Through their research, Kristi and Matt found out that Colby's condition is not so mysterious. The couple was in contact with other people in Hawaii and across the country who were or are involved with TSW.

They hope to make their experiences a lesson for others, especially for young parents.

"Patients really need to trust their tummy, Kristi said.

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