In medicine , a finger tip unit ( FTU ) is defined as the amount of ointment , cream or other semi-solid dosage form expressed from a tube with a 5mm diameter nozzle, applied from the distal skin-crease to the tip of the index finger of an adult.   The "distal skin-crease" is the skin crease over the joint nearest the end of the finger. One FTU is enough to treat an area of skin twice the size of the flat of an adult's hand with the fingers together, . a “handprint”. Two FTUs are approximately equivalent to 1g of topical steroid .
Glucocorticoids are potent anti-inflammatories, regardless of the inflammation's cause; their primary anti-inflammatory mechanism is lipocortin-1 (annexin-1) synthesis. Lipocortin-1 both suppresses phospholipase A2 , thereby blocking eicosanoid production, and inhibits various leukocyte inflammatory events ( epithelial adhesion , emigration , chemotaxis , phagocytosis , respiratory burst , etc.). In other words, glucocorticoids not only suppress immune response, but also inhibit the two main products of inflammation, prostaglandins and leukotrienes . They inhibit prostaglandin synthesis at the level of phospholipase A2 as well as at the level of cyclooxygenase /PGE isomerase (COX-1 and COX-2),  the latter effect being much like that of NSAIDs , potentiating the anti-inflammatory effect.