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Corticosteroids (On the skin)

Treats skin swelling, redness, itching, and discomfort caused by insect bites, poison ivy, mild burns, skin rashes, sunburn, and other reasons.

Brand Name(s):

Aclovate, Ala-Cort, Ala-Scalp HP, Apexicon E, Aqua Glycolic HC Scalp & Body, Aquanil Hc, Aveeno 1% Hydrocortisone Anti-Itch Cream, Beta Hc, Caldecort, Capex, Clobex, Cloderm, Cordran, Cordran SP, Cordran Tape

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have ever had an allergic reaction to medicines such as hydrocortisone, triamcinolone, or betamethasone. You should not use this medicine on a baby. It may be absorbed through the skin and cause harmful side effects. You should not use to treat chicken pox or for a vaginal itch when you also have a discharge.

How to Use This Medicine:

Pad, Stick, Tape, Cream, Foam, Shampoo, Gel/Jelly, Aerosol, Lotion, Oil, Ointment, Liquid, Spray

  • Take your medicine as directed.
  • Follow the instructions on the medicine label if you are using this medicine without a prescription.
  • If you are using this medicine with a prescription, the medicine might come with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • This medicine is for use on the skin only. Do not get it in your eyes, nose, or mouth. If it does get on these areas, rinse it off right away. Some forms of this medicine should not be used on diaper rash or inside the vagina or rectum. If you are not sure what body areas you can use this medicine on, ask your pharmacist.
  • For Dermatop(R) cream or ointment: Do not let the medicine come in contact with products that contain latex, such as condoms and diaphragms. The cream and ointment can damage the latex and the product may not be effective.
  • For the cream, liquid, lotion, ointment, or gel: Apply a thin layer of the medicine to the affected area. Rub it in gently. You might need to shake the liquid or lotion before using it.
  • For the spray or foam: Do not inhale the spray. Do not use the spray or foam near heat or an open flame, or while smoking. Do not puncture, break, or burn the can.
  • For the shampoo: Wet hair and scalp thoroughly with water. Work the shampoo into a lather and gently massage it over your whole scalp for the correct number of minutes. Rinse your hair thoroughly.
  • For the tape: Apply the correct amount of tape directly on your skin and leave it on your skin. You will need to change the tape once or twice a day, depending on the problem being treated. Do not put tape on skin creases, such as your underarm area.
  • This medicine might come with a special applicator (a tool for applying the medicine). Make sure you understand how to use the applicator. If you are not sure, ask your pharmacist.
  • Do not cover the treated area with a bandage unless directed by your doctor.
  • If this medicine is to be used on the diaper area of a child, avoid using tight-fitting diapers or plastic pants.

If a dose is missed:

  • Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not freeze. Some forms of this medicine could catch fire, so it is very important to keep it away from heat. Do not puncture, break, or burn the aerosol or foam can.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Do not use any other medicine that contains a steroid while you are using this medicine, unless your doctor has told you to.
  • Do not put cosmetics or skin care products on the treated skin.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, talk to your doctor before using this medicine.
  • Before using this medicine, let your doctor know if you have diabetes, a stomach ulcer, or tuberculosis (TB).
  • You may be more likely to have side effects from this medicine if you are over 60 years of age.
  • You should not use this medicine for a longer period of time than your doctor ordered.
  • Call your doctor if your symptoms get worse, or do not clear up after 7 days of treatment.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Red or swollen skin.
  • Pus or blisters on the skin.
  • Acne.
  • Burning, itching, or peeling skin.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088


Last Updated: 7/4/2014


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