Hydrocortisone topical is used to treat redness, swelling, itching, and discomfort of various skin conditions. Hydrocortisone is in a class of medications called corticosteroids. It works by activating natural substances in the skin to reduce swelling, redness, and itching.
Hydrocortisone comes as ointment, cream, solution (liquid), spray, or lotion for use on the skin. Hydrocortisone topical is usually used one to four times a day for skin problems. Apply it at around the same time(s) every day. Follow the directions on your prescription or product label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use hydrocortisone exactly as directed. Do not apply more or less of it or apply it more often than prescribed by your doctor. Do not apply it to other areas of your body or use it to treat other skin conditions unless directed to do so by your doctor.
If your doctor has prescribed hydrocortisone for your condition, call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve in the first 2 weeks of your treatment. If you obtained hydrocortisone without a prescription (over the counter) and your condition does not improve within 7 days, stop using it and call your doctor.
To use hydrocortisone topical, apply a small amount of ointment, cream, solution, spray, or lotion to cover the affected area of skin with a thin even film and rub it in gently.
This medication is only for use on the skin. Do not let hydrocortisone topical get into your eyes or mouth and do not swallow it.
Do not wrap or bandage the treated area unless your doctor tells you that you should. If you have psoriasis, your doctor may recommend an occlusive dressing.
If you are applying hydrocortisone topical to a child's diaper area, do not cover the area with tight fitting diapers or plastic pants.