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How do I Use Hydrocortisone for Eczema?

Anna T.
Updated May 17, 2024
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There are several different brands of hydrocortisone for eczema, and you should probably follow the directions exactly on the package of whichever brand you are using. If you are using hydrocortisone prescribed by your doctor, you should follow the instructions that your doctor has given you. Most types of hydrocortisone for eczema are rubbed into the skin over the affected areas a few times each day, much in the same way that lotion is used. It is important not to use the cream more often than directed because there are some side effects associated with the use of hydrocortisone. If your symptoms do not improve with the use of hydrocortisone, it is probably best to stop using it and check with your doctor about what other types of treatment may work for your eczema.

When you use hydrocortisone for eczema, you should typically apply a thin layer over the affected areas and then rub the cream in thoroughly. Some doctors tell their patients to use the cream as needed for discomfort, while others may specify that the cream should be used only a few times a day. When you apply the cream, try to avoid getting it in your eyes. You should also wash your hands thoroughly after you've applied it to avoid accidentally getting it in your eyes or on other areas of your skin that might be sensitive to the hydrocortisone.

Even though hydrocortisone for eczema is available over the counter, it might be a good idea to talk to your doctor before using it. Hydrocortisone is a type of steroid, and there are some potential side effects associated with its use. If you use it regularly over a long period of time, hydrocortisone could cause your skin to thin out or possibly make the blood vessels underneath your skin swell. Hydrocortisone also has the potential to adversely affect the adrenal glands. The cream typically comes in different concentrations, and the stronger concentrations are generally more likely to cause side effects.

If you are considering the use of hydrocortisone for eczema on your child, you should ask your doctor first. Hydrocortisone is not completely safe for children, although some doctors do recommend it for severe cases of eczema. Most doctors prescribe or recommend very low concentrations of hydrocortisone for children and typically advise parents to use it sparingly. Extended use of hydrocortisone on babies, children, and teenagers could have uncertain effects on growth and possibly cause other problems, and for this reason it is generally essential that a doctor's advice be sought before it used on minors.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Anna T.
By Anna T.
Anna Thurman is a skilled writer who lends her talents to WiseGeek. Her ability to research and present information in an engaging and accessible manner allows her to create content that resonates with readers across a wide range of subjects.
Discussion Comments
By anon153724 — On Feb 18, 2011

Can I use hydrocortisone under the lower part of the eye bone area as there is a very dark black patch of chapped skin? My doctor prescribed it. Please advise.

Anna T.
Anna T.
Anna Thurman is a skilled writer who lends her talents to WiseGeek. Her ability to research and present information in an engaging and accessible manner allows her to create content that resonates with readers across a wide range of subjects.
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