Cortisone is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatories that exists. This drug was never designed to treat eczema but is prescribed as a symptomatic relief of the inflammation by "switching off" the immune response causing the eczema. Once it has worn off the eczema returns. Cortisone was never intended to be prescribed for long term use and is not called the "medicine of last resorts" for nothing, as the side effects are horrific and can be fatal.

To understand what cortisone does, you need to understand a little about how the body functions. Simply, your entire body is controlled by different types of hormones called "eicosanoids". An eicosanoid is produced in every cell, unlike other hormones which are controlled by a specific gland.

identify and elliminate possible triggers. he function of an eicosonoid is to be excreted by the cell to test the external environment and then report back what was just outside by interacting with the cells receptor on the surface. It then self destructs, and the whole process starts again. With the information the cell has received it can then take appropriate biological action to respond to the change in it's environment. You can now imagine how these hormones play such a vital role in our physiology.

Because there is no gland controlling these hormones, nature provided us with a balance of "good" and "bad" so that an even axis was maintained. Most chronic diseases are a consequence of too many "bad" eicosanoids.

So what does cortisone do:
Ask any physician what happens when a high dose of corticosteroid is given to a patient for longer than 30 days. The answer will be physiological devastation, if not death. This occurs because cortisone knocks out all eicosanoid production both good and bad, by inhibiting the release of essential fatty acids from the cell membrane. Without eicosanoids you can't survive.
Long term use of cortisone lowers the response to your immune system, decreases cognitive function, increases fat stores, thins the skin and accelerates osteoporosis.

If you give a single injection of corticoseroids to a healthy individual, within 24 hours their lympocytes will show a pattern very similar to that in AIDS patients.

How does topical cortisone affect the skin?
The key structural proteins that give your skin it's firmness and elasticity are called collagen and elastin. These proteins are stimulated by increased blood flow which also provides nutrients to your skins subcutaneous layer. Cortisone inhibits the function of collagen and elastin thereby reducing the blood flow required to provide the optimum amount of nutrients the skin requires. Try imagine that the skin as a fine mesh, which with constant use of cortisone starts to widen further apart. Skin cells are literally starved of nutrients by reduced blood flow and therefore inhibit the regeneration process. Cortisone is not the solution to eczema, if anything it can pose a major threat.