Hydrocortisone cream is the most suitable for short-term treatments of atopic, seborrheic and contact dermatitis. It is also used for localized treatments that manifest inflammation and severe itching such as severe or moderate eczema, rashes, peeling or psoriasis.
Hydrocortisone cream benefits
Hydrocortisone cream is a drug that is used very frequently to temporarily soothe itching, irritations, inflammations, external eruptions on the skin. Hydrocortisone cream is the only drug that contains active ingredients to treat various allergic reactions, symptoms of itching, inflammation, and redness.
It is a topical corticosteroid that causes therapeutic effects with the ability to produce vasoconstriction and to minimize the permeability of the membranes and reduce mitotic activity. This drug shares anti-inflammatory properties to relieve various inflammations in various parts of the body.
How to use hydrocortisone cream
- Hydrocortisone in its cream presentation should be used regularly 1 to 4 times a day and preferably should be applied at the same time.
- It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions properly, as applying it more than you should or exceeding the amounts could cause adverse conditions.
- It should only be applied to the affected areas and avoid applying it if they have other skin conditions that are not related to being treated with this drug.
- Generally the effect of hydrocortisone cream begins to be noticed after 2 weeks of treatment, in case of not seeing improvement or the condition worsens, it is necessary to notify the doctor immediately.
- To use this medicine, it needs to be applied in small amounts to cover only the affected area and should be rubbed in gently.
- Hydrocortisone cream is a product, only to be used on the skin, therefore it should not enter the mouth or the eyes.
- The affected area should be avoided by bandaging, as it is necessary for the affected area to have air flow.
- When applying hydrocortisone cream to the diaper area in babies, they should not be diapers tight.
Hydrocortisone cream precautions
Before starting a treatment with hydrocortisone cream, it is advisable to consult your doctor to avoid possible conditions and it is also necessary to know some important precautions such as the following:
- Hydrocortisone cream is a very mild corticosteroid, so it is only possible to use it with other more powerful medicines if this treatment has not had a positive effect.
- Occlusive dressings can be used to facilitate better penetration of hydrocortisone in some keratinized lesions. The occlusion needs to be placed only at night and for 2 days.
- If any side effect occurs while under hydrocortisone cream treatment, its use should be discontinued and another appropriate antimicrobial treatment should be requested from the treating physician.
- Care should be taken with the use of this drug in people who are over 60 years old, the doctor must carefully evaluate the condition to apply the corresponding dose.
- It is important for pregnant women to avoid treatments with this medicine, since they could cause severe affections to the fetus, hydrocortisone cream is easily and quickly absorbed through the skin.
- If the mother is breastfeeding, she should not apply hydrocortisone cream to the breast, it could cause severe poisoning in the baby.
- It is important not to exceed the doses or the frequency of use of this drug.
- It is necessary that the hydrocortisone cream treatment be used for the shortest possible time, especially in children, it should only be used strictly for the time indicated by the doctor, thus avoiding adverse effects.
- In the event of infections caused by fungi or bacteria, a doctor should be consulted. Some medications that contain corticosteroids manage to hide these infections and then create a stronger skin problem.
- If the patient is under treatment for psoriasis, he should be further supervised by the treating physician.
- If hydrocortisone cream is used for other conditions that are not indicated, it can complicate the diagnosis and make treatment difficult.
Side effects of hydrocortisone cream
Hydrocortisone cream can cause some conditions, which could cause severe symptoms that might even be difficult to control. In this case, it is necessary to inform or go to the doctor to prescribe new indications. Some of those symptoms are:
- Strong acne breakouts.
- Itching, irritation, burning, redness, and dryness of the skin.
- Rash or red bumps around the lips.
- Increase in unusual hair growth on the body and face.
- Intensity of urticaria.
- Appearance of stretch marks.
- Formation of red or white bumps on the skin.
- Swelling, pain, and redness in the area where the hydrocortisone cream was applied.
- Thinning of the skin.
- Infection caused by the formation of painful, red, pus-filled blisters.
- Excessive dryness of the skin.
- Dilation of the superficial blood vessels.
Contraindications of hydrocortisone cream
The use of hydrocortisone cream may be contraindicated in some people with severe hypersensitivity problems, as well as various factors that can put their health at risk. Some of those contraindications are:
- In children under 2 years of age, the application of hydrocortisone cream should be avoided in large areas of the skin and it should be used in short-term treatments, only the pediatrician can indicate the indicated dose.
- Hydrocortisone cream should not be applied in the treatment of burns, acne, depigmentation disorders and skin infections.
- Nor should it be used in localized infections, such as fungal, viral or bacterial.
- If the person has a history of hypersensitivity to hydrocortisone or any of its components, this medicine should not be used.
- This medicine cannot be used if there are syphilitic, tuberculous processes, infections caused by herpes, chickenpox, perioral dermatitis, rosacea, vaccination reactions, bed sores, or in anal, oral or genital mucous membranes.
Conclusion of the use of hydrocortisone cream
To conclude, it can be said that hydrocortisone cream is a topical component with excellent anti-inflammatory, vasoconstrictive and antipruritic properties that help to alleviate and improve various inflammations, psoriasis conditions, dermatitis and rashes that occur in various parts of the body.
Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.