Hydrocortisone cream is a steroid used to treat skin conditions such as eczema.
Wash your hands, then apply to the affected area as directed and rub in gently. Wash your hands again after applying the cream, unless your hands are the affected area.
How much should I apply?
It is important to get the dose right. This is why a standard measure is used called the fingertip unit. One fingertip unit is the amount of cream or ointment squeezed out of the tube from the first crease of your index finger to the tip (see photo). One fingertip unit covers an area of skin two times the size of your handprint (fingers together and palm).
If it is nearly time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and apply your next dose at the usual time. Otherwise, apply the missed dose as soon as you remember. Do not apply two doses at the same time.
Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products or recreational drugs.
If steroids are applied to the skin correctly, side effects are uncommon. If you use them continuously for a long time, are treating a large area, cover the area, or use a higher potency steroid than needed, then side effects may occur.
|Side Effects||Recommended action|
Skin thinning, stretch marks
|Tell your doctor|
If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.
This leaflet contains important, but not all, information about this medicine.
Prepared by the PILs Committee at Christchurch Hospital, Canterbury District Health Board, New Zealand. May 2019
For more general information about this sheet and its contents, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?
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My Medicines Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) contain important, but not all, information about the medicines they describe.
For more information about the sheets, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?
My Medicines is developed by a team at the Canterbury District Health Board. Our team is made up of doctors, pharmacists, and a non-medical person to help us keep to plain language. We also discuss our information with specialist health professionals or groups when needed