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Is fluocinonide safe to use on your face?

Medically reviewed by Sally Chao, MD. Last updated on June 27, 2023.

Official answer


No. Fluocinonide is a powerful steroid that is used to treat various inflammatory skin conditions, but it should never be used on highly sensitive areas—such as your face, groin or underarms—unless specifically directed by a physician.

You should also avoid touching your eyes or mouth after applying this cream to the affected area. This steroid should not be applied on cuts, scrapes, damaged skin or open wounds either.

Available as an ointment, cream, solution and gel in various strengths, fluocinonide should only be used on the skin. It can relieve the itching, redness, dryness, crusting, scaling and inflammation of psoriasis and eczema, often within two weeks of use.

Fluocinonide side effects may include:

  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Irritation
  • Redness
  • Dry skin
  • Acne
  • Skin color changes
  • Bruising
  • Tiny red bumps or rash around the mouth or on the skin

More serious side effects may include skin rash, infection where the fluocinonide was applied, rapid weight gain, muscle weakness and/or depression.

To maximize the benefits of fluocinonide and minimize any risk, follow your doctor’s instructions closely. This includes applying only a light layer of medication on the affected area(s) of skin, gently rubbing it in and then thoroughly washing your hands afterward.

  1. U.S. National Library of Medicine MedlinePlus. Fluocinonide Topical. February 15, 2018. Available at: [Accessed June 4, 2021].
  2. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). VANOS® (fluocinonide) cream, 0.1%. Updated March 2012. Available at: [Accessed June 7, 2021].

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