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I was introduced to Canasten HC cream by my ever-helpful Doctor around 2 weeks ago and I most certainly have not looked back. I went to see him to ask about my eczema, which I had been struggling with for well over 6 months (I have a fear of doctors and managed to put it off for that long...silly me).
I was very dubious when he told me he was prescribing a 'strong steroid cream' as I had used an e45 version which hadn't worked and had also heard some nasty things about steroid creams. Now my eczema is around my eyes and around my lips, and one of the rumours was that when used near the eyes, steroid creams can cause cataracts. More on this later...
What is Canasten HC? It is a steroid cream with 1.0% Clotrimazole (an antifungal agent) and 1.0% Hydrocortisone (a hormone which reduces the immune response). This cream can be used for most common irritated skin conditions such as eczema and thrush. It is particularly useful for those conditions which are caused by a fungus or yeast as the clotrimazole kills them. In my case, the hair dye I used was damaging my skin and making it unable to kill the fungus off itself, so I needed the cream to help.
Having looked it up I can tell you it's also used for candidal balanitis, candidal vaginitis, nappy rash, athlete's foot, ringworm and jock itch. Yum.
Packaging The cream comes in a 30g tube packaged inside a small cardboard box, much like toothpaste, and with a screw top. All of the packaging is white, with the text in bold blue. I may be mistaken with this packaging, as there may be differences depending on where it's sold or manufactured.
Does it Work? For me, an eczema suffer, yes. I should point out that my eczema was quite severe when I went there; exacerbated by stress, any sort of soap used, harsh weather and I was unable to wear any makeup. Around my lips the sore skin would itch and flake horribly. Around my eyes would itch in the mornings and puff up so I felt (and looked) like I'd been crying for hours. After just one day of applying the cream (3 times daily) I saw a difference. After three days my eczema had pretty much disappeared. I am still using the cream now as there is one tiny patch below my left eye that refuses to budge. This is a mystery, but it seems to be going slowly and it isn't irritated so I'm happy.
Scent Of course, because this cream is for use on all kinds of forms of skin irritation it is fragrance free. That doesn't mean it doesn't smell, though! If you've ever used aqueous cream you'll be familiar with that medicated smell which this also has. I'd almost say it smells almondy and the smell is so delicate you'd probably have to have thrush up your nose to be able to smell it.
Texture Not much to report here other than that it's exactly like any ointment you use. Not at all grainy and gets absorbed into the skin very readily without leaving it greasy or white.
Directions This depends on how it's prescribed. I was told to use it 3 times a day but if you're using it on a less serious or irritated patch of skin then once a day is recommended with steroid creams. The patches of skin I used them on were 10p sized and under my eyes (just like the dark bags you get when tired) and about 2cm ring around my mouth. All I had to use for all of these areas was a piece the size of a pea (just as you would use for your teeth with toothpaste). I would put this on the affected areas after applying aqueous cream to my whole face in the morning and before bed, with another application at midday.
Note: External use only! If you have female thrush then you need buy oral canasten tablets for the internal itching. Also, wash it off before using condoms as the cream can damage them (although that's quite mean as you'll just transfer the infection onto your partner..try and be patient!)
How much is it? I think it's only available on prescription, so extortionate (bring on moving to Wales for the free prescription service!)
Are there any side effects? There weren't any for me, although as I mentioned earlier prolonged use around the eyes can cause cataracts. Steroid creams are not designed for long-term use, just until the infection or inflammation clears up. In fact, unless advised by your GP (as I was) you should stop use after 7 days. Anyway, side effects can include thinning of the skin (which is why I was glad mine cleared up so quickly underneath my eyes...I don't want to get wrinkles early), strecth marks, acne, visible fine blood vessels under the skin, decreased pigmentation and increased hair growth.
Summary Overall Canasten HC cream gets a big thumbs up. Little to no scent, works very well, 30g last for AGES, non-greasy. My only qualm is the thinning of the skin, but I'd rather have that than itchy, inflamed and bright red skin around my eyes all the time. I'd even go as far as to say it's given me some self-confidence back...I can go out in public without worrying people are thinking I've been crying!
Pictures of Canesten Cream
Not sure if you can see it too well but the red patches under my eyes and around my bottom lip are now almost completely gone; hooray!
Canesten Cream Combi is an ideal combination of creams - a tube of soothing cream to ... more
relieve external itching and a single-dose pre-filled applicator of internal cream to treat the cause of thrush. A Vaginal thrush infection may cause any of the following symptoms: Whitish, odourless discharge Persistent burning Itching Redness Swelling and soreness of the vagina and vulva
Canesten AF Cream contains a prescription strength antifungal ingredient which effectively ... more
treats Athlete's foot and jock itch. What is Athlete's Foot? Athlete's foot is one of those irritating skin problems that just seem to appear and then stubbornly refuse to go away. Treated effectively though, it doesn't have to hang around for long. Athlete's foot is a common fungal infection of the skin, typically appearing between the toes but also on the soles and sides of the feet. Lots of us get it, in fact as many as 1 in 4 people will suffer at some point. What are the symptoms? The most irritating symptom of athlete's foot is itchy feet, but if left untreated the skin may start to flake or become cracked and painful. Occasionally it may become infected with bacteria, which you notice by an unpleasant odour. It is important to check your feet regularly because, despite the name, anyone can get athlete's foot and it's actually quite common. Some people leave their athlete's foot alone in the hope that it may vanish, but unfortunately without proper treatment this is not likely to be the case. So use Canesten AF Cream to help alleviate these symptoms...fast!
Canesten Oral & Cream Duo Canesten Oral capsule is a convenient and discreet way to help ... more
clear the infection and the Canesten 2% cream applied on the outside, rapidly cools the external symptoms. What is thrush? Thrush is an infection caused by a yeast called Candida. This yeast normally lives in your body quite happily without doing you any harm. But when the natural pH balance of your vagina is upset - which can easily happen - Candida can multiply. And that's when you may start to itch and develop thrush. Who gets thrush? Don't worry or be embarrassed about having thrush, as thrush is much more common than you might think - 3 out of 4 women have it at some point in their lives, especially if they are under the age of 20 or pregnant, and it is commonly suffered around the time of a period. Men are not immune. They can get thrush too, though only a few develop the rash and itchiness. Most male sufferers act as carriers, without actually having the symptoms. To help prevent re-infection, make sure your partner uses Canesten Thrush Cream as well as you. How does the infection occur? Normally, there is a delicate balance between bacteria and yeasts that live naturally within the vagina. However, this balance is easily upset by any of the following factors which could allow the yeasts to overgrow, leading to thrush infection. Intake of medicines such as antibiotics Trauma of sexual activity or tampons Stress Perfumed soap, shower gels and bubble baths Menstruation Wearing tight clothing Pregnancy The symptoms of thrush The main symptom - and by far the most irritating - is the itching. You may also feel a burning soreness and this can be accompanied by a whitish odourless discharge. Though very uncomfortable, these symptoms can be sorted out quickly and easily, by treating at the site of infection as well as soothing the irritation. Most women seek help for relief of external itching. However, it is important that the infection is treated internally as well as externally, to prevent symptoms from returning.