Why are different strengths critical? The appropriate strength depends on many factors. For example, babies absorb topical steroids faster than adults, so they may require a low-potency steroid. Areas of the body where skin touches skin (think: armpits, rectal area, etc), as well as sensitive areas (like the skin on the eyelids), tend to absorb topical steroids more rapidly, so those regions of the body also usually require a low-potency steroid. However, thick, rough skin on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet usually absorb topical steroids more slowly than other parts of the body, so those areas typically require a more potent steroid. Keep in mind: The greater the potency of the steroid (in other words, the lower its class number), the more likely it is to cause side effects .
Shake the drops gently to be sure the medicine is well mixed. Tilt your head back slightly and pull down on your lower eyelid. Position the dropper above your eye. Look up and away from the dropper. Squeeze out a drop and close your eye. Apply gentle pressure to the inside corner of your eye (near your nose) for about 1 minute to prevent the liquid from draining down your tear duct. If you are using more than one drop in the same eye, repeat the process with about 5 minutes between drops. If you are using drops in both eyes, repeat the process in the other eye.
Topical steroids come in different strengths, ranging from mild to moderate, potent and very potent. Side effects are more common in high-potency prescription-strength steroid creams. Over-the-counter hydrocortisone is the lowest-potency steroid cream available, but could cause thinning of the skin if used daily for many consecutive weeks. This is especially true if steroid cream is used on thin, sensitive skin such as the eyelids, genital areas, or the folds of the skin. As a general rule, to minimize the risk of side effects, use the lowest strength preparation that is effective. Very potent steroids should only be used for short periods, whereas milder ones can be used longer.