Generic Name: hydrocortisone topical (hye droe KOR ti sone)
Brand Name: Ala-Cort, Aquanil HC, Beta HC, Cortizone-5, Dermarest Plus Anti-Itch, Dermasorb HC, Dermtex HC, Gynecort Maximum Strength, Hydro Skin, Instacort, Itch-X Lotion, Locoid, Pandel, Pediaderm HC, Sarnol-HC
Medically reviewed on March 5, 2018
What is hydrocortisone topical?
Hydrocortisone is a topical steroid that reduces the actions of chemicals in the body that cause inflammation.
Hydrocortisone topical is used to treat inflammation of the skin caused by a number of conditions such as allergic reactions, eczema, or psoriasis. Hydrocortisone topical will not treat skin infections.
There are many brands and forms of hydrocortisone topical available. Not all brands are listed on this leaflet.
Hydrocortisone topical 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 hydrocortisone topical if you are allergic to hydrocortisone.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to use this medicine if you have:
liver disease; or
problems with your adrenal gland.
Do not use this medicine on a child without medical advice.
Ask a doctor before using this medicine if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
How should I use hydrocortisone topical?
Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor.
Wash your hands before and after each application, unless you are using hydrocortisone topical to treat a hand condition.
Apply a small amount to the affected area and rub it gently into the skin.
Avoid using this medicine on your face, near your eyes or mouth, or on body areas where you have skin folds or thin skin.
Do not cover the treated skin area unless your doctor tells you to.
If you are treating the diaper area of a baby, do not use plastic pants or tight-fitting diapers. Covering the skin can increase the amount of the drug your skin absorbs, which may lead to unwanted side effects.
Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse.
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 if anyone has accidentally swallowed the medication.
Applying too much hydrocortisone topical is not likely to cause serious problems. However, long term use of high doses 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 hydrocortisone topical?
Do not take by mouth. Topical medicine is for use only on the skin.
Rinse with water if this medication gets in your eyes.
Avoid using skin products that can cause irritation, such as harsh soaps, shampoos, hair coloring or permanent chemicals, hair removers or waxes, or skin products with alcohol, spices, astringents, or lime.
Hydrocortisone topical 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.
Your skin can absorb topical medicine, which may cause steroid side effects throughout the body. Stop using hydrocortisone topical and call your doctor if you have:
weight gain (especially in your face or your upper back and torso);
slow wound healing, thinning skin, increased body hair;
irregular menstrual periods, changes in sexual function; or
Children can absorb larger amounts of hydrocortisone topical through the skin and may be more likely to have side effects.
Common side effects may include:
acne, skin redness;
mild burning, tingling or prickly feeling;
changes in skin color; or
dryness or cracking of treated skin.
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.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect hydrocortisone 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 health care providers about all medicines you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
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.
Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 10.02.
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