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Hydrocortisone (On the skin)

Hydrocortisone (hye-droe-KOR-ti-sone)

Treats skin irritation, allergic reactions, and other types of skin problems. Belongs to a class of drugs called corticosteroids.

Brand Name(s):

Ala-Cort, Ala-Scalp HP, Aqua Glycolic HC Scalp & Body, Aquanil Hc, Aveeno 1% Hydrocortisone Anti-Itch Cream, Beta Hc, Caldecort, CortAlo With Aloe, Corta-Cap, Cortaid Intensive Therapy, Cortaid Maximum Strength, Cortaid Sensitive Skin w/Aloe, Corticool Maximum Strength, Cotacort, Dermasorb HC Complete Kit

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 had an allergic reaction to hydrocortisone or any other related medicine, such as triamcinolone (Aristocort®), betamethasone (Valisone®), or fluocinonide (Lidex®).

How to Use This Medicine:

Cream, Kit, Ointment, Lotion, Spray, Foam, Gel/Jelly, Stick, Liquid

  • Your doctor will tell you how much to use and how often.
  • Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • Use only on the skin. You should not use this medicine in or around your eyes.
  • You should not use this medicine on your face or neck unless your doctor told you to do so.
  • Apply a thin layer to the affected area. Rub in gently.
  • Shake the lotion well before using.
  • The spray could catch on fire. Do not use the spray near high heat or flame.
  • Do not cover the treated skin with a bandage unless your doctor tells you to do so.
  • If this medicine is used on the diaper area of a child, avoid using tight-fitting diapers or plastic pants.

If a dose is missed:

  • Put on the missed dose as soon as possible.
  • Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next regular dose.
  • You should not use two doses at the same time.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not freeze.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children.

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 mix with or use other skin medicines with this medicine unless your doctor tells you to do so.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, talk to your doctor before using hydrocortisone.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you have glaucoma, tuberculosis, diabetes, chickenpox, or a skin infection.
  • You should not use this medicine for other skin conditions without first checking with your doctor or pharmacist.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Severe itching, burning, or skin irritation
  • Redness, swelling, drainage, or pus from the area or other signs of infection

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

  • Mild, temporary stinging
  • Irritation, burning, redness, or dryness of skin
  • Raised spots on skin
  • Thinning of skin or bruising
  • Poor healing of skin
  • Acne-like skin changes

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: 12/4/2014


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