Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Dressings: Do not use dressings or bandages over hydrocortisone unless recommended by your doctor. This includes diapers or plastic pants if hydrocortisone is applied to the diaper area.
Eye: Be careful when applying hydrocortisone on lesions near the eye because absorption into the blood may cause increased eye pressure, glaucoma, or cataracts. Wash your hands after applying hydrocortisone and avoid touching your eyes.
Infection: A proper anti-infective should be used to treat an infection while hydrocortisone may be used to treat the symptoms of inflammation, redness, and itching. At times, the use of corticosteroids may mask the signs and symptoms of infections.
Medical conditions: Do not use this medication to treat itching of the vulva (vaginal lips) that is associated with vaginal discharge.
Overuse: Long-term use of this medication over large areas of the body or under dressings that don't breathe could lead to the absorption of hydrocortisone into the body's blood circulation. This could produce effects similar to those seen after taking oral steroid medications, such as prednisone, for long periods of time. These side effects include:
- diarrhea or constipation
- fluid retention (bloating)
- increased blood sugar
- increased body hair growth
- increased risk of infections
- irregular menstrual cycles
- slow healing of wounds
- stomach ulcers
- thin skin
Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
Skin: Prolonged use of corticosteroids can cause thinning of the skin, especially on the face, armpits, inner arm, back of the leg, and skin folds. If this occurs, talk to your doctor.
Pregnancy: The use of topical hydrocortisone is generally considered to be compatible with pregnancy. If you are pregnant, speak to your doctor about the benefits and risks of using this medication.
Breast-feeding: The use of topical hydrocortisone is generally considered to be compatible with breast-feeding. If you are breast-feeding, speak to your doctor about the benefits and risks of using this medication.
Children: Children may absorb more of the medication than adults and may experience more side effects. Speak to your doctor about the benefits and risks of using this medication on children.