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Hydrocortisone cream is available under various different brands in the UK, including HC45, which is a popular brand of Hydrocortisone cream available over the counter.
When applied directly to the affected area of skin, Hydrocortisone cream calms down your body's immune response to reduce pain, itching and inflammation.
If you can't get to a pharmacy, you can order Hydrocortisone cream online from Prescription Doctor. We dispatch items the same day for a next-day delivery to ensure you can start your treatment as soon as possible.
Our team of prescribers and pharmacists are on hand to help you with any problems or questions you might have about your condition or your treatment.
Hydrocortisone cream is used on the affected skin, to reduce inflammation and irritation caused by skin conditions including:
Some treatments for haemorrhoids contain a hydrocortisone to help reduce the swelling of piles and ease itching.
Hydrocortisone cream is a type of medicine that is known as a topical corticosteroid.
Corticosteroids are a class of synthetic steroids hormones; they are a man-made version of hormones that are normally produced by the adrenal glands.
Skin inflammation usually results from an allergy or irritation caused by the immune system's release of histamine. Histamine causes the blood vessels to widen which results in skin that is red, swollen, itchy and painful.
When Hydrocortisone is applied to the skin, it acts inside the skin cells to decrease the release of histamines. This reduces any swelling, redness and itching, and consequently helps prevent any further scratching.
A course of topical steroid is used during a flare-up of eczema. The aim of the treatment is to clear the flare-up completely and then you can stop the use of the treatment.
Your doctor will usually prescribe the lowest-strength topical steroid to help clear the flare-up. For example, Hydrocortisone 1% is often prescribed initially. If there is no improvement after three to seven days, a stronger topical steroid is usually prescribed.
Instructions on how to use Hydrocortisone Cream can be found within the patient information leaflet enclosed with your treatment.
Wash your hands thoroughly before applying the cream.
Squeeze out a small amount of cream onto your fingertip. Gently spread a thin and even layer of Hydrocortisone cream over the affected area until it has soaked in to the skin. Do not rub the cream hard into the skin, as this can irritate the skin.
Apply the cream to all affected areas of skin as advised by your doctor/pharmacist. Do not apply the cream to any part of the skin that is not affected.
Unless you have applied Hydrocortisone Cream affected skin on your hands, wash your hands after using Hydrocortisone Cream.
You should aim to apply the cream at the same time(s) every day. Always follow the directions on your prescription carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand.
Do not use more Hydrocortisone Cream than prescribed by your doctor. Using more Hydrocortisone Cream is unlikely to treat your condition any quicker, but may increase your risk of side effects.
Be careful not to get Hydrocortisone Cream in your eyes, nose, or mouth. Rinse the area with cold water if accidental contact does occur in these areas. If irritation persists, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Do not apply Hydrocortisone cream to other areas of your body or use it to treat other skin conditions, unless directed to do so by your doctor.
Do not apply Hydrocortisone Cream to the eyes, face, or genitals, broken or infected skin, or areas of skin which are infected with bacterial, viral or fungal infections.
Most people need to use Hydrocortisone Cream once or twice a day for one or two weeks. Hydrocortisone Cream is not intended for long-term use. If you buy it from a pharmacy and your skin does not improve within one week, stop using it and speak to a doctor for further advice.
Before you use Hydrocortisone Cream for the first time, it's important to familiarise yourself with the patient information leaflet enclosed with your treatment. The patient information leaflet contains important regarding using, storing and disposing the medicine.
You can read the patient information leaflet for Hydrocortisone cream online.
If you are concerned about anything you read inside the patient information leaflet, or if you have any questions, don't hesitate to speak to your doctor or a pharmacist.
Our online doctors can discuss any questions you have about the treatment during your online consultation.
Hydrocortisone cream is not suitable for everyone. It's important to speak to your doctor before taking any new medication.
Speak to your doctor before using hydrocortisone cream if you:
If you are unsure whether hydrocortisone cream is suitable for you, speak to your doctor or ask a pharmacist for advice.
All medicines can cause side effects, but not everybody who uses Hydrocortisone Cream will experience them.
During your course of treatment with Hydrocortisone cream, you should remain vigilant of any side effects associated with your medication.
Side effects from hydrocortisone cream are usually mild and go away once you finish using it. Using hydrocortisone cream for the shortest time possible (usually less than 4 weeks) can reduce your risk of experiencing side effects.
Side effects of hydrocortisone cream may include:
This is not an exhaustive list of side effects. A full list of side effects can be found within the patient information leaflet enclosed with your medicine.
If you experience any side effects to Hydrocortisone Cream, regardless of whether they are listed above or in the patient information leaflet supplied with your medicine, report them to your doctor.
Do not use hydrocortisone cream if you are allergic to hydrocortisone or any of the other ingredients listed in the patient information leaflet.
If you experience an allergic reaction after using Hydrocortisone cream, stop using the treatment and seek immediate medical attention. Go straight to your nearest accident and emergency department. Remember to take the packaging and any remaining treatment with you, so that doctors treating you know exactly what you took.
Signs of an allergic reaction include:
You should always speak to your doctor before using a new medicine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Hydrocortisone butyrate is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Inform our medical team of any other treatments you are taking, including those bought over the counter, prescribed by your doctor, as well as health and herbal supplements.
Warning: Hydrocortisone cream can dry into clothing, bedding and other soft materials. This can potentially pose a fire risk. Keep the cream and anything the cream touches away from naked flames and heat sources.
Do not use Hydrocortisone Cream past the expiry date printed on the packaging.
Never throw away medicine via household or water waste as this can harm the environment. Instead, take any unwanted or expired medicine to your local pharmacy and ask them to dispose of them safely on your behalf.
Always store Hydrocortisone Cream out of sight and reach from children and pets.
Never share your medicine with anybody else, even if they are experiencing the same symptoms or have been diagnosed with the same condition as you.
To help control and manage your symptoms you can try the following steps at home:
Avoid scratching as it can worsen your condition. Scratching the affected area can cause breaks in your skin which may bleed. Broken skin is more exposed to infections. You can wear cotton gloves to prevent damaging your skin.
If you know the triggers which cause flare-ups, simply avoiding them can be effective. However, this isn't always possible. Instead, you should work to mitigate coming into contact with things which might irritate your skin. For example, wearing disposable gloves when using harsh cleaning products, wiping down surfaces with a damp cloth to remove dust and pollen, or keeping your window closed when the pollen count is high.
Use emollients, such as Hydromol or Doublebase in-between your application of Hydrocortisone cream, especially after you wash. Emollients help your skin to lock-in moisture and keep your skin supple and smooth. However, care should be taken when using emollients.
Emollients containing paraffin and other derivatives of petroleum can be highly flammable. Wash surfaces which come into contact with emollients regularly. Keep emollients and surfaces which come into contact with emollients away from flames and heat sources.
When you bathe, avoid using hot water as it can irritate your skin and dry it out further. Use lukewarm water instead. When you have finished washing, pat your skin dry with a towel. Avoid rubbing your skin with the towel as this can irritate your skin.
Wear loose clothes that are made of natural materials such as wool and cotton. Avoid synthetic fabrics like nylon and polyester. If pollen is a trigger for your eczema, wash your clothes after coming inside when the pollen count is high.
If you forget to use Hydrocortisone cream when you should, use it as soon as you remember and continue to use it as you normally would. Do not apply more Hydrocortisone cream to make up for a missed dose.
If you accidentally apply too much Hydrocortisone Cream, wipe away the excess with a paper towel and discard of it safely in the bin. Using more Hydrocortisone cream is unlikely to treat your condition quicker, but it may increase your risk of side effects.
Yes, it is safe to drink alcohol while using Hydrocortisone cream.
No, Hydrocortisone does not affect your ability to drive or operate machinery.
If you are using other topical treatments, such as creams, lotions or transdermal patches, speak to your doctor or a pharmacist about whether it's safe to use Hydrocortisone cream alongside them.
You should start to notice an improvement in your symptoms after using Hydrocortisone cream for just a few days. If you do not notice an improvement after 1 week, or if your condition worsens, speak to your doctor as soon as possible.
How often you can use Hydrocortisone cream for depends on your condition. Your doctor will be able to tell you how long you should use Hydrocortisone cream for.
Some formulations of Hydrocortisone Cream, such as HC45 Cream, are available to buy over-the-counter without a prescription.
You can buy Hydrocortisone Cream online from a reputable UK pharmacy such as Prescription Doctor.
Table of contents
Buy Hydrocortisone Cream Online UK
How Does Hydrocortisone Cream Work?
How Do I Use Hydrocortisone Cream?
Hydrocortisone Cream Side Effects and Cautions
NHS, 2020. Hydrocortisone for skin
Pinewood Healthcare, 2018. Hydrocortisone 1% w/w Cream: Summary of Product Characteristics
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