Health Sarah Hyland Gets Real About Dealing With Prednisone ‘Moon Face’

22:11  24 november  2017
22:11  24 november  2017 Source:   Self

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Modern Family star Sarah Hyland has been open about her experience with kidney dysplasia, a Side effects include something that patients refer to as “ moon face ,” which is basically extreme facial swelling. “People do get swollen cheeks when taking prednisone for a long time,” Dr. Ludmer says.

Sarah Hyland Gets Real About Fighting ' Moon Face ' From Prednisone . In a post you may relate to if you’ve ever tried to fight the side effects of prednisone , Hyland showed how she deals with prednisone “ moon face .”

person posing for a picture© Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

Modern Family star Sarah Hyland has been open about her experience with kidney dysplasia, a condition that causes the kidneys to develop abnormally, and the fact that she underwent a kidney transplant in 2012. Now, she’s sharing information with fans about "moon face," swelling caused by prednisone, one of the medications she now has to take regularly.

On Saturday, Hyland posted a video to Instagram stories about her skin-care routine, The Mighty reports. First, she showed fans a facial serum that she likes to use. Then she took out a facial massage roller and said, “I use this thing to roll my face out. I don’t know if it works or not.” She then went on to explain that she likes to "roll her face out" because of the prednisone she takes.

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Sarah Hyland opens up about fighting ' moon face ' from immunosuppressant drugs five years after her kidney transplant. She now takes a habitual dose of prednisone , an immunosuppressant drug to prevent organ rejection. On Saturday, she opened up about dealing with one of the side effects.

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Prednisone is a synthetic steroid hormone that mimics the actions of cortisol, a hormone that your body naturally produces, James J. Galligan, Ph.D., a professor of pharmacology and toxicology and director of the neuroscience program at Michigan State University, tells SELF. “Prednisone is most often used as an anti-inflammatory drug as it suppresses the immune system,” he explains, adding that people who have had a kidney transplant often take the drug to help prevent their transplanted kidney from being rejected by their immune system.

Unfortunately, prednisone has a lot of side effects—and some of them are serious.

“When we use prednisone, we’re always thinking of how to get people off of it quickly and how to use the least amount,” Lynn M. Ludmer, M.D., a rheumatologist at Baltimore's Mercy Medical Center, tells SELF. It may be prescribed for many conditions, including severe allergic reactions, asthma, arthritis, and lupus, the Mayo Clinic explains.

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Side effects include something that patients refer to as “moon face,” which is basically extreme facial swelling. “People do get swollen cheeks when taking prednisone for a long time,” Dr. Ludmer says. But the swelling isn’t just limited to the cheeks—some patients will get what’s called a “buffalo hump” at the base of their neck as well. Neither of these effects are harmful, Dr. Galligan says, “but [they] can make the patient feel socially uncomfortable as their appearance changes markedly.”

Other side effects can be more serious. People often lose muscle when they are on prednisone for an extended period of time, and the suppression of the immune system can make patients susceptible to infection, Dr. Galligan says. “Prednisone can also cause some patients to become restless and they might have difficulty sleeping,” he says. Some patients may also develop osteoporosis if they've been on the drug for several months, and blood pressure and blood sugar issues can also surface, Dr. Ludmer says.

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Many of the harmful side effects of prednisone can surface after just a few weeks of being on the drug, Dr. Ludmer says, which is why prescribing it is something doctors take seriously. “This isn’t a candy kind of medication,” Dr. Ludmer says. “It’s something that needs to be monitored.”

Although facial rolling makes sense as a treatment for swelling in theory, it’s unlikely to actually help all that much.

Dr. Ludmer says this is the first she’s even heard of this as a possible way to beat the facial swelling associated with prednisone. “It is not likely to be very helpful,” Dr. Galligan says. That's because the swelling is a product of prednisone actually changing a person’s fat distribution, which can cause someone to have more fat in their face, he explains. Using a roller over the area will massage the fat, but it won’t make it go away permanently.

But, although moon face is common, it's temporary. “When the patient stops taking the prednisone, fat distribution goes back to normal and moon face disappears after a few weeks,” Dr. Galligan says. And, again, this kind of swelling isn't harmful, so moon face is actually a relatively minor potential side effect of prednisone.

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If you’re on prednisone and you’re worried about the side effects, talk to your doctor.

Whatever you do, don’t change your dosage on your own. “There’s usually a really important reason why you’re prescribed this drug,” Dr. Ludmer says. So patients may need to endure some unpleasant side effects of the drug because if it's necessary for their overall health. Of course, everyone’s situation is different. But because prednisone is used to treat some really heavy-duty health issues, the consequences of not taking it trying to lower your dosage on your own could be as serious as losing a kidney transplant.

But doctors understand the tradeoff patients are making and generally want to taper your dosage over time, if possible, Dr. Ludmer says. So it’s important to have a constant discussion with your provider about what’s happening and how you feel. “In some cases, there may be alternatives to prednisone," Dr. Galligan says, but switching to those requires an honest conversation with your doctor.

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