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Triamcinolone Acetonide Cream

Pronunciation: TRYE-am-SIN-oh-lone
Brand names: Kenalog, Oralone, Trianex, Triderm, Aristocort A, ... show all 9 brands
Dosage form: topical cream (0.025%; 0.1%; 0.5%), topical ointment (0.025%; 0.05%; 0.1%; 0.5%), mucous membrane paste (0.1%)
Drug class: Topical steroids

Medically reviewed by Melisa Puckey, BPharm. Last updated on Jul 5, 2024.

What is triamcinolone acetonide cream?

Triamcinolone Acetonide cream is used for psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis, rashes, and other itchy or inflamed skin conditions. Triamcinolone Acetonide works by reducing itching and inflammation and calming an overactive immune system. 

Triamcinolone acetonide cream is a potent corticosteroid cream available on prescription as a generic medicine. 

Triamcinolone acetonide is available as triamcinolone acetonide ointment, dental paste, injection, intra-articular injection (Zilretta), nasal spray (nasocort).

Triamcinolone acetonide cream side effects

Common triamcinolone acetonide cream side effects

Common triamcinolone acetonide cream side effects include:

Serious triamcinolone acetonide cream side effects

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

Triamcinolone acetonide cream may cause other serious side effects. Call your doctor at once if you have:

Children can absorb larger amounts of this medicine through the skin and may be more likely to have side effects such as growth delay, headaches, or pain behind the eyes. A baby using this medicine may have a bulging soft spot (the top of the head where the skull hasn't yet grown together).

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.


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.

Prolonged use of topical corticosteroids may cause atrophy of the epidermis and subcutaneous tissue; these effects are most likely to occur (even with short-term use) in intertriginous (e.g., axilla, groin), flexor, and facial areas.

Infections: If a skin infection develops or is present, anti-infective therapy should be started. If it does not respond promptly, discontinue topical corticosteroid therapy until the infection has been controlled.

Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Suppression: Topically applied corticosteroids can be absorbed in sufficient amounts to reversibly suppress the HPA axis. Perform periodic HPA-axis evaluation by appropriate testing (e.g., ACTH stimulation, morning plasma cortisol, urinary free cortisol), especially in patients applying a topical corticosteroid to a large surface area or to areas under occlusion.

Systemic Effects. Systemic absorption following topical administration may result in manifestations of Cushing's syndrome, hyperglycemia, and glucosuria in some patients. Infants and children may be more susceptible to adverse systemic effects. 

Local Effects. Possible adverse local reactions (e.g., burning, itching, irritation, dryness, folliculitis, hypertrichosis, acneiform eruptions, hypopigmentation, perioral dermatitis, allergic contact dermatitis, maceration of the skin, secondary infection, skin atrophy, striae, miliaria); may occur more frequently with the use of occlusive dressings, especially with prolonged therapy.

Occlusive Dressings. Adverse systemic corticosteroid effects may occur with use of occlusive dressings on large areas of the body and for prolonged periods of time; monitor accordingly

Before taking this medicine

You should not use triamcinolone acetonide cream if you are allergic to the active ingredients or any inactive ingredients.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

Steroid medicines can increase the glucose (sugar) levels in your blood or urine. Tell your doctor if you have diabetes.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. If you apply triamcinolone to your chest, avoid areas that may come into contact with the nursing baby's mouth.

How should I use triamcinolone acetonide cream?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed. Triamcinolone acetonide cream should only be applied to skin, avoid contact with the eyes.

Triamcinolone acetonide cream directions

Apply triamcinolone acetonide cream 0.1%, 0.5%, 0.025%, or triamcinolone acetonide ointment sparingly in a thin film and rub gently into the affected area. Apply as often as your doctor has prescribed. Do not apply this medicine over a large area of skin unless your doctor has told you to.

Do not cover the treated skin area with a bandage or other covering unless your doctor tells you to. Covering treated areas can increase the amount of medicine absorbed through your skin and may cause harmful effects.

Use the triamcinolone acetonide cream 0.5% and ointment 0.5% only in the treatment of dermatoses that are refractory to treatment with lower concentrations.

Wash your hands before and after using triamcinolone topical unless you are using this medicine to treat the skin on your hands.

Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse.

Triamcinolone dental paste directions

Triamcinolone acetonide paste is applied directly onto an ulcer inside the mouth and left in place. To use the dental paste, press a small dab onto the mouth ulcer, but do not rub in the medicine. The dab will form a thin film that should be left in place for several hours. Triamcinolone dental paste is usually applied at bedtime and/or after meals. Follow your doctor's instructions. A mouth ulcer should improve within 1 week of using triamcinolone dental paste.

You should stop using this medicine once your symptoms are controlled.

Store at room temperature, away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Apply the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not apply 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.

High doses or long-term use of steroid medicine 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 triamcinolone acetonide cream?

Avoid getting triamcinolone topical in your eyes.

Avoid using other topical steroid medications on the areas you treat with triamcinolone unless your doctor tells you to.

Do not use triamcinolone topical to treat any condition that has not been checked by your doctor.

Do not share this medicine with another person, even if they have the same symptoms you have.

What other drugs will affect triamcinolone 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.

Further information

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