Hydrocortisone cream is used to treat a variety of skin conditions, including:
- Insect bites
- Anal itching
Hydrocortisone cream works by reducing inflammation and itching.
Hydrocortisone cream is generally safe and well-tolerated when used as directed. However, some people may experience side effects, such as:
- Skin burning, stinging, or irritation
- Skin dryness or redness
- Unusual hair growth
- Skin thinning or discoloration
- Stretch marks
More serious side effects can occur if hydrocortisone cream is used over a large area of the body for an extended period of time, or if it is used on the face or genitals. These side effects may include:
- Cushing’s syndrome (a condition caused by too much cortisol in the body)
- Adrenal suppression (a condition in which the adrenal glands do not produce enough cortisol)
- Skin atrophy (thinning of the skin)
- Striae (stretch marks)
Hydrocortisone cream should not be used on open wounds or on areas of the body that are infected. It should also not be used on the face or genitals unless directed by a doctor.
Hydrocortisone cream can interact with other medications, so it is important to tell your doctor about all of the medications you are taking before using hydrocortisone cream.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Hydrocortisone cream is generally safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding, but it is important to talk to your doctor before using it.
How to use hydrocortisone cream
Hydrocortisone cream is typically applied to the affected area 2-4 times per day. The amount of cream you use will depend on the size of the affected area and the severity of your condition.
Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before and after applying hydrocortisone cream. Apply the cream in a thin layer to the affected area and rub it in gently.
If you are using hydrocortisone cream on your face, be sure to avoid the eyes and mouth.
Hydrocortisone cream should be stored at room temperature in a cool, dry place.