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Hydrocortisone Topical



Hydrocortisone topical is used to treat mild to moderate inflammatory skin disorders such as eczema (itchy, oozing, and crusting skin rash), contact dermatitis (itchy, oozing, and crusting skin rash after contact with certain plants, cosmetics, irritants like detergents), insect bite reactions or psoriasis (a skin condition associated with red, raised, itchy and scaly patches).

How it works

Hydrocortisone belongs to the class of medications called as corticosteroids. It works by preventing release of certain chemicals from the immune cells responsible for causing dryness, itching, oozing, and crusting of skin, thereby relieving the swelling and irritation associated with various skin disorders.

Common side effects

Acne, Allergy, Burning sensation, Changes in skin color, Condition worsened, Itching, Dry skin, Skin thinning, Stretch marks


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Expert advice

  • Exercise caution if you are an elderly patient, or undergoing extended hydrocortisone therapy or if you have heart failure, diabetes, high blood pressure and recurrent fits.
  • Do not apply plasters or dressings over the cream unless suggested by your doctor.
  • Avoid direct contact on the face, near your eyes and mouth, anal or genital areas or any other body parts with skin folds or thin skin. In case of direct contact of this medication with the eyes, nose, mouth, anal or vaginal area, immediately rinse with water.
  • Consult your doctor before using in children <10 years. 
  • Do not use hydrocortisone topical for a duration more than 7 days unless prescribed by your doctor.
  • Do consult your doctor, if the skin condition does not improve after application at prescribed dose and duration.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.
  • Do not use if you are allergic to hydrocortisone or any of its ingredients.
  • Do not use if you have acne or infected or broken skin.
  • Do not use if you are suffering from bacterial infection such as impetigo (red sores on the face), viral infections such as cold sores or fungal infections such as athlete’s foot.

Frequently asked questions

Hydrocortisone Topical


Q. Is hydrocortisone topical safe?
Hydrocortisone topical is safe when used at prescribed dose and duration as advised by your doctor.
Q. Is hydrocortisone topical good for ringworm, cold sores, haemorrhoids, scars or burns?
No. Hydrocortisone topical is contraindicated in any condition where the skin is infected or inflamed or has an open wound.
Q. Does hydrocortisone topical help in eczema, acne, hives, dry skin and thrush?
Hydrocortisone topical relieves the itching associated with eczema and local swelling and itching associated with hives. It should not be used in acne, dry skin and thrush.

Content on this page was last updated on 30 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)