Hydrocortisone cream is a topical medication used to treat various skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and allergic reactions. It is a type of corticosteroid that works by reducing inflammation and itching. However, like most medications, hydrocortisone cream must be used correctly to avoid adverse effects. In this article, we will discuss the proper hydrocortisone cream dosing to ensure safe and effective use of the medication.
What is Hydrocortisone Cream?
Hydrocortisone cream is a topical medication that contains a synthetic version of cortisol, a hormone naturally produced by the body’s adrenal glands. It is used to reduce inflammation, redness, and itching caused by skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and allergic reactions. Hydrocortisone cream is available over-the-counter (OTC) in various strengths, ranging from 0.5% to 2.5%. Higher strength creams are available with a prescription.
How Does Hydrocortisone Cream Work?
Hydrocortisone cream works by reducing inflammation and itching. It does this by inhibiting the production of inflammatory substances in the body, such as prostaglandins and leukotrienes. Hydrocortisone cream also constricts blood vessels, reducing redness and swelling.
Proper Hydrocortisone Cream Dosing
The proper hydrocortisone cream dosing depends on the strength of the cream and the severity of the skin condition. It is important to follow the instructions on the label or as directed by a healthcare professional. Generally, the recommended dosing is as follows:
For Adults and Children 12 Years and Older
For mild to moderate skin conditions, apply a thin layer of 0.5% to 1% hydrocortisone cream to the affected area two to three times a day. For severe conditions, a higher strength cream may be necessary. However, higher strength creams should not be used for more than two weeks without medical supervision.
For Children Under 12 Years
Hydrocortisone cream is generally safe for children under 12 years old when used as directed. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before using hydrocortisone cream on children. For children under 2 years old, hydrocortisone cream should only be used under medical supervision.
How to Apply Hydrocortisone Cream
Before applying hydrocortisone cream, clean and dry the affected area. Apply a thin layer of cream to the affected area and gently rub it in. Wash your hands after applying the cream unless the affected area is on the hands. Do not cover the area with a bandage or dressing unless directed by a healthcare professional.
Hydrocortisone cream is generally safe for most people when used as directed. However, like all medications, it can cause side effects. Common side effects include skin irritation, burning, and itching. If you experience any severe side effects, such as hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat, seek medical attention immediately.
Hydrocortisone cream is a commonly used medication for the treatment of various skin conditions. However, it is important to use it correctly to avoid adverse effects. The proper hydrocortisone cream dosing depends on the strength of the cream and the severity of the skin condition. It is important to follow the instructions on the label or as directed by a healthcare professional. If you have any questions or concerns about hydrocortisone cream dosing, consult with a healthcare professional.