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Alcortin A (topical)

Generic name: aloe polysaccharides, hydrocortisone, and iodoquinol (topical) [ AL-oe-pol-ee-SAK-a-rides, HYE-droe-KOR-ti-sone, eye-OH-doe-KWIN-ol ]
Drug class: Topical steroids with anti-infectives

Medically reviewed by on Jan 4, 2023. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is Alcortin A?

Aloe polysaccharides comes from the aloe vera plant. Hydrocortisone is a steroid, and iodoquinol is an antibiotic and antifungal medicine.

Alcortin A (for the skin) is a combination medicine that is used to treat itching, inflammation, irritation, and infections of the skin related to a number of conditions. This includes impetigo, eczema, dermatitis, acne, infected hair follicles, scalp infections, yeast infection, and athlete's foot.

Alcortin A is also used on the outside of the genital or rectal area to treat irritation and inflammation caused by jock itch, vaginal yeast infection, and anal infection.

Alcortin A may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.


Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to hydrocortisone, aloe vera, iodoquinol, glycine, histidine, lysine, or palmitic acid.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • diabetes;

  • Cushing's syndrome (an endocrine disorder);

  • tuberculosis;

  • glaucoma, cataracts, or problems with your eyes; or

  • a weak immune system (caused by disease or by using certain medicine).

It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

It may not be safe to breast-feed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk. If you apply this medicine to your chest, avoid areas that may come into contact with the baby's mouth.

Do not use this medication on a child younger than 12 years old. Children can absorb larger amounts of this medicine through the skin and may be more likely to have side effects.

How should I use Alcortin A?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Do not take by mouth. Topical medicine is for use only on the skin.

Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand these instructions.

Wash your hands before and after applying this medicine, unless you are using it to treat a hand condition.

Before applying this medicine to the genital or rectal areas, clean the area with mild soap and pat dry.

Do not cover the treated skin area unless your doctor tells you to. Covering treated areas can increase the amount of medicine absorbed through your skin and may cause harmful effects. If you are treating the diaper area, do not use plastic pants or tight-fitting diapers.

Iodoquinol absorbed through the skin can affect the results of certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using this medicine. You may need to stop using the medicine for at least 1 month before you have a thyroid function test.

Call your doctor if your condition does not improve after several days, or if your condition clears up and then comes back.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not use two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

An overdose of Alcortin A is not expected to produce life threatening symptoms. Long term use of medicine that contains a steroid such as hydrocortisone can lead to thinning skin, easy bruising, changes in body fat (especially in your face, neck, back, and waist), increased acne or facial hair, menstrual problems, impotence, or loss of interest in sex.

What should I avoid while using this medicine?

Do not use Alcortin A to treat any condition that has not been checked by your doctor.

Avoid getting this medication in your eyes, nose, mouth, rectum, or vagina. If this does happen, rinse with water.

Avoid getting the medicine on your hair or clothing, as it may stain these surfaces.

Avoid also using other skin medications unless your doctor tells you to.

Alcortin A side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Serious side effects are unlikely when this medicine is applied to the skin, but can occur if hydrocortisone or iodiquinol are absorbed into your bloodstream.

This medicine may cause serious side effects. Stop using this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • severe pain, burning, or irritation of treated skin;

  • itching, oozing, or other signs of a new infection;

  • any new redness or swelling where the medicine was applied;

  • increased adrenal gland hormones--weight gain in your face and shoulders, slow wound healing, skin discoloration, thinning skin, increased body hair, tiredness, mood changes, menstrual changes, sexual changes;

  • decreased adrenal gland hormones--muscle weakness, tiredness, diarrhea, nausea, menstrual changes, skin discoloration, craving salty foods, and feeling light-headed; or

  • high blood sugar--increased thirst, increased urination, dry mouth, fruity breath odor.

Common side effects of Alcortin A may include:

  • mild burning, itching, dryness, or irritation of the skin;

  • redness or crusting around your hair follicles;

  • acne, increased facial or body hair growth;

  • changes in the color of treated skin; or

  • stretch marks.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect Alcortin A topical?

Medicine used on the skin is not likely to be affected by other drugs you use. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all medicines you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

More about Alcortin A (aloe vera / hydrocortisone / iodoquinol topical)

Patient resources

Professional resources

Related treatment guides

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.