Dermo steroid strips to heal nodular prurigo

This blog post seems a nonsense on the back of my fears about steroids, but having nodular prurigo can be infuriating. The little itchy, hard lumps itch so much you just have to tear off the top, and they bleed like an erupting volcano and I mean bleed, for AGES!

All this means that they can get infected and take months and months to heal. You just get used to them being there, but I have managed to find a few ways of getting rid of them.

One particularly nasty line of five nodules which had taken up residence on my neck finally healed, well almost, after steroid application for just over a month. I say almost because the largest nodule, the leader in that little procession of itchy, scabby bumps is still there, but slowly receding.

This was the advice from my dermatologist. I use Elocon steroid and he advised applying a tiny amount onto the nodule twice a day for two weeks. Then once a day for two weeks, and then slowly tail off the use. I’m now putting a tiny bit on this remaining nodule and it’s almost almost gone. It took about six weeks so perseverance is the key. When it seems like the steroids aren’t working keep on trying. It’s not an instant heal like with normal eczema.

Am I just fueling my steroid addiction? Who knows. But right now I’m not ready to face that particular kind of evil – steroid withdrawal is not something I think I could even cope with right now.

But I’ve discovered a new treatment. I didn’t use these on my neck because I thought they might be a little visible but these little strips do seem to help heal the nodules.

But beware! If you’ve never used topical steroids before, you may like to read my previous blog post about topical steroid addiction and withdrawal. It does not make for pleasant reading so be very careful.

What are dermo steroid strips?

Show this picture to your doctor or dermatologist as it did take me over six months to actually track these down after vague suggestion from my dermatologist who just told me to go and get them from the chemists who had no idea what they were and my GP had no idea either. You have to be a detective.

Dermo healing strips for treating nodular prurigo

Dermo healing strips for treating nodular prurigo

And you’ll need a pair of scissors and a bit of patience to apply them each morning.

Haelan Tape - steroid strips to heal and treat nodular prurigo

Haelan Tape – steroid strips to heal and treat nodular prurigo

It’s basically a strip of very thin clear sticky steroid covered plaster and this is what you do.

Healan tape plaster for nodular prurigo - It's pretty invisible

Healan tape plaster for nodular prurigo – It’s pretty invisible

  • You pull out some of the strip, cut off a strip, a bit wider than the nodule.
  • Cut the plaster into a circle shape so that it will easily cover the nodule with a few mm all around.
  • Peel off the sticky clear circle and stick it over your nodular prurigo scab
  • You should apply to clean skin and it does stick really well.
  • Leave on for about 12 hours, and it does last that long.
  • I have left them on for longer when I just forgot and this does seem to be fine but the plaster can smell a bit when you remove it.
  • Thoroughly wash your hands and the scab when you remove the plaster and reapply a new one if needed.

It does seem to really help with healing not least because the plaster protects it from being scratched.

You will need to get these on prescription but they’re worth a try. I will try to take some before and afters of a nasty NP break out to show you how much they aid healing. I’d say about 3 days of applying them speeds up healing by weeks for me.

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About Ruth

Ruth works freelance as a copywriter and writes the What Allergy blog to share information with people who have allergies, eczema, asthma and food intolerances. was voted in the top 5 allergy blogs and Ruth also judges regularly for the FreeFrom Food Awards and FreeFrom Skincare Awards. She also won the Foods You Can People's choice Best FreeFrom blogger award 2014.


  1. IAN MORRIS says:

    Hi Ruth I am not sure but think i tried these about 2 years ago from my dermatologist here in Portsmouth, can you tell me if you found when using them that when you took the plaster off did it remove the scab as well as this is what I found when using them. I used them for about 10 days and then I phoned and spoke with my dermatologist who advised me to stop using them, I’m not sure whether this is due to my many allergies or due to the high quantity of Staphylococcus aureus i have covering my whole body permanently or something I have yet to find but i remember when taking the plasters off was a painful experience even when doing it under a warm shower. At one point I had somewhere around 20 to 30 of the nodules that needed to be covered so I covered about half of them but after taking the plasters off the majority took the scabs with them I was left in a bloody mess with bits of tissue everywhere which made me look like I had had a bad day in the bathroom shaving if you catch my drift. Now I DO NOT want to put others off from using this product as I see you say it gave you good results quicker than just cream alone all I would say is when anyone starts to use it for the first time don’t cover all scabs but start with just a couple and build up from there as with all new to you medicine take it slowly and be aware of the results.

    • Hi Ian, No I haven’t found that at all, but I did find the skin went quite white and flabby under the strip and on occasions did smell awful when I removed it, which made me think there was bacteria growing under it, as I think it doesn’t allow the skin to breathe. I think your advice about trying just one scab is great. That is exactly what I did the first time and I just use them on the really bad, swollen angry ones. Others I let heal naturally. Were the ones you used just very thin see through sticky patches?

      • Ian Morris says:

        yes Ruth they were but I’m also not sure if I was allergic to the glue they used as I can only normally use the paper type micropore tape for making my own plasters up so that might have been a contributing factor for me as well

        • It very well might. I’m allergic to most plasters and have to buy the hypoallergenic ones, or the micropore strips. I wonder if just using a dry sterile dressing and covering the nodules would work for you anyway? I think part of the thing for me is making me pause before ripping the top off yet again. if it’s covered my fingernails just didn’t find it to scratch and I was more aware that I mustn’t. I guess the bit of steroid in the strips helps healing but you could just as easily apply some before using a normal sterile dressing. Not nearly as discreet but it might work. Have you tried any of the healing patches meant for cold sores? I haven’t either but they just popped into my head as I found some this morning in the back of a drawer I was clearing out. Good luck with your battle against NP. I wish you luck. You know the thing that helps me most? Cutting out all processed foods. I do allow some things with very simple ingredients like oat cakes… oh and organic wine! Try it if you haven’t already. My doctor says there should be no link with food and NP but I swear something in processed foods triggers mine. I have always eating something less ‘clean’ when a flare up takes hold.

          • Ian Morris says:

            Hi Ruth,it could well be linked to food as I have quite a few intolerances to foods but I’m not as good at not eating everything that I shouldn’t as if I did I would only eat veggies virtually all the time. I use Melolin cut in squares and micropore tape to cover the worst ones with a little dermol 500 to help out but my main problem is where I have so many (nearly 200)allergies and intolerances id doesn’t help and mine always start to reitch after a shower as I’m allergic/intolerant to chlorine which makes life a bit of a nightmare but hey ho life goes on.

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