In this drug factsheet:
How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Hydrocortisone topical (cream, lotion, ointment, or scalp solution applied to the skin) belongs to a class of medications called corticosteroids. It is used for temporary relief of minor skin irritations such as itching and rashes due to a variety of conditions; e.g., eczema, dermatitis, insect bites, poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac, soaps, detergents, cosmetics, and jewelry.
Hydrocortisone works by reducing redness, itching, and inflammation.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are using this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop using this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to use this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
How should I use this medication?
Hydrocortisone topical preparations (i.e., cream, lotion, ointment, or scalp solution) should be applied to the affected area in a thin film not more than 3 or 4 times a day. Your doctor may also suggest to apply only 1 to 2 times a day. Take care not to get this medication in your eyes. Wash your hands after applying the medication. Do not wrap the area where the medication has been applied so that it can breathe, unless instructed to do so by your doctor. Use this medication for a maximum of 7 days. If symptoms persist longer than 7 days, consult a doctor.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are using the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important to use this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, apply it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not apply a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.
This medication is available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms listed here. The forms available for the specific brand you have searched are listed under "What form(s) does this medication come in?"
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Each container of white, odourless, washable cream contains hydrocortisone 1%. Nonmedicinal ingredients: ceteareth-20, cetearyl alcohol, germaben II, mineral oil (heavy), purified water, and white petrolatum.
Each container of white, odourless, washable cream contains hydrocortisone 2.5%. Nonmedicinal ingredients: ceteareth-20, cetearyl alcohol, germaben II, mineral oil (heavy), purified water, and white petrolatum.
Each bottle of white, odourless, washable lotion contains hydrocortisone 1%. Nonmedicinal ingredients: ceteareth-20, emulsifying wax, germaben II, isopropyl myristate, purified water, and sorbitol solution.
Each bottle of white, odourless, washable lotion contains hydrocortisone 2.5%. Nonmedicinal ingredients: ceteareth-20, emulsifying wax, germaben II, isopropyl myristate, purified water, and sorbitol solution.
Scalp solution 2.5%
Each bottle of clear, odourless hydroalcoholic solution contains 2.5% of hydrocortisone. Nonmedicinal ingredients: isopropyl alcohol, polyethylene glycol, and purified water.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not use hydrocortisone topical if you:
- are allergic to hydrocortisone or any ingredients of the medication
- have certain viral infections such as herpes simplex, chickenpox, or vaccinia
- have untreated tuberculosis, fungal, or bacterial infections of the skin