hydrocortisone cream 50g, hydrocortisone acetate

What is hydrocortisone 1% cream?

Hydrocortisone 1% cream is a mild topical corticosteroid medication that contains the active ingredient hydrocortisone. It is commonly used for the short-term relief of various skin conditions characterised by inflammation, redness, and itching.

What is hydrocortisone 1% cream used to treat?

Hydrocortisone 1% cream is used to treat mild inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, insect bites, and minor skin irritations.  

Who can and cannot use medicines containing hydrocortisone 1% cream?

Do not apply hydrocortisone cream if: 

  • You are allergic to hydrocortisone or any other ingredients contained in the product 

  • You have a bacterial infection (e.g., impetigo), viral infection (e.g., cold sores 'herpes simplex,' chickenpox), or fungal infection (e.g., tinea, athlete's foot, ringworm, or thrush) on the skin 

  • You intend to use it on your face, near your eyes, on the anal or genital region, or on broken skin 

Take special care with hydrocortisone cream in the following cases: 

  • Allergic skin reactions, including temporary red or raised areas on the skin (short-lived 'wheal and flare' reactions) 

  • Conditions involving the deeper skin layers, such as granulomas 

  • Psoriasis (a long-term scaly skin condition); only use this product with medical advice and under the careful supervision of your doctor 

Inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant. Seek advice from your doctor before using any medication during pregnancy, as there is a minimal risk of abnormalities in the unborn child associated with the use of this product. If you are breastfeeding, refrain from applying the product to your chest area. 

eczema image, scratching skin on the arm

What side effects should I be aware of?

Hydrocortisone cream, like all medications, may induce side effects, although not everyone will experience them.  

Possible reactions include signs of an allergic response such as rash, itching, swelling of the lips, eyes, or tongue, or difficulty breathing—promptly discontinue use if these occur. 'Stretch marks,' especially in skin folds like the groin or armpits, may also develop.  

Additionally, a steroid withdrawal reaction may manifest if the cream is used continuously for extended periods, with features like redness beyond the treated area, a burning or stinging sensation, intense itching, peeling of the skin, and the occurrence of oozing open sores upon discontinuation. 

Always read the patient information leaflet for hydrocortisone 1% cream before using it. 

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