Children with severe or widespread eczema sometimes need stronger treatments, usually given in a hospital skin department. Oral steroids (usually prednisolone) are sometimes used for a very short time if the eczema has flared badly. They work well but cannot be used in the long term as they may cause side effects. More severe forms of eczema may need longer courses of other tablets that calm down the immune system, such as azathioprine or ciclosporin. They too have side effects that need to be monitored with regular blood tests and visits to the hospital.