Skin sin no. 3: Using too much cortisone Cortisone is one of those products in your home's first-aid kit that you most likely use to treat rashes and bug bites. While mild, over-the-counter forms like Cortaid and cortizone-10 can relieve redness, swelling, and flaking, it's easy to forget that cortisone is a type of steroid, and continual long-term use can lead to tachyphylaxis. That's medical speak for cortisone addiction, says Wu. "[When] the skin gets so used to having cortisone around to control any inflammation, it reacts if you suddenly stop using it," she says. "The skin 'rebounds' by becoming angrier and itchier than ever."
Overusing cortisone cream also causes collagen to break down, which leads to thinning of the skin and -- worst-case scenario -- stretch marks. So, how to use this product safely? Wu says to only use it when you really need it, and for a max of two weeks at a time. Also, use the mildest form and apply a very thin layer on areas with thin skin, such as the groin, face, and underarms.
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