Hydrocortisone cream, gel, or ointment is available without a prescription. It is commonly used to treat skin inflammation and itching.
- Carefully read and follow all label directions on the medicine bottle or box.
- Do not use the cream on children younger than age 2 unless your doctor tells you to.
- Do not use in the diaper area unless your doctor tells you to.
- Do not use in the rectal or vaginal area on children younger than age 12 unless your doctor tells you to.
- Do not continue to use the cream if there is no improvement after 48 hours.
- Do not continue to use the cream longer than 4 to 5 days unless your doctor tells you to.
- Do not use hydrocortisone cream on weeping, scraped, or infected skin.
- Avoid getting the cream in the eyes.
- Use very sparingly on facial rashes and on the back of the hands.
Dosage: Apply to the rash area 4 times a day. Rub the cream in well.
- Increased itching
- Increase in rash
- Skin infection
If side effects occur, stop using the cream. Call your doctor if treatment of the condition is still needed.
Current as of: October 31, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
H. Michael O'Connor MD - Emergency Medicine
Ellen K. Roh MD - Dermatology