What is Hydrocortisone 1% Ointment?
Hydrocortisone ointment is a topical treatment used to reduce the symptoms of skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema and heat rash.
What is Hydrocortisone 1% Ointment used for?
Skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis usually present with inflammatory symptoms, including redness, swelling, itching and dryness. Hydrocortisone is an anti-inflammatory treatment, which means it reduces these symptoms when applied to the area affected on the skin.
How does Hydrocortisone 1% Ointment work?
Inflammatory symptoms emerge when your body attempts to fight off illnesses. When you get a fever, for example, that’s the immune system’s attempt to make your body too hot for harmful viruses and bacteria to survive.
Skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema aren’t infections. But increasing amounts of evidence in recent years indicate they cause the immune system to think skin tissue is foreign and harmful to the body, and attacks it as a result. Conditions that cause the immune system to behave in this way are known as autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune conditions affecting the skin usually present with symptoms such as rashes, redness, swelling and dryness.
Like other steroid medications, Hydrocortisone works by reducing the immune response in the affected area, thereby alleviating the symptoms.
Hydrocortisone works in a similar way to other steroidal medications - by dampening the immune response in the affected area.
Who can use Hydrocortisone 1% Ointment?
Hydrocortisone is usually very safe to use for both adults and children. You shouldn’t use it on children under 10 years old without the recommendation of a doctor, however.
You must also inform your doctor or pharmacist before using Hydrocortisone if you:
- Have had an allergic reaction to Hydrocortisone or any other medicine in the past
- Have a skin infection
- Are pregnant, attempting to become pregnant or breastfeeding
Can Hydrocortisone 1% Ointment be used on my face?
Because Hydrocortisone dampens the body’s immune response to the area it is applied, it can make some skin conditions that primarily affect the face worse. These include:
In some cases, a doctor will recommend or prescribe Hydrocortisone for use on the face. You should not use it for your face without seeing a GP first. You should also not put the treatment on broken or infected skin, or around the genitals.
What are the side effects of Hydrocortisone 1% Ointment?
Most people tolerate Hydrocortisone well. It’s common to feel a stinging or burning sensation when you first use it. This usually subsides after a few days of use.
In rare cases, Hydrocortisone may make skin infections worse when applied to infected areas on the body. You must stop using the ointment and tell your doctor straight away if you get:
- Signs of adrenal gland problems, including severe nausea or vomiting, dizziness, fainting, muscle weakness, fatigue, mood changes, loss of appetite or weight loss
- Signs of high blood sugar, including confusion, sleepiness, intense thirst or hunger, frequent urination, flushed skin, rapid breathing or breath that smells like fruit
Always read the patient information leaflet before commencing treatment.
Important: We advise you to always read the patient information leaflet inside the medication box, as the generic medication may not always entirely match the patient information leaflet listed. Please contact us if you have any questions.
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Content last updated: 20 Apr 2023