Hydrocortisone topical is used to help relieve redness, itching, swelling, or other discomfort caused by skin conditions. This medicine is a corticosteroid (cortisone-like medicine or steroid).

This medicine is available both over-the-counter (OTC) and with your doctor’s prescription.

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  • Ala-Cort, Ala-Scalp HP, Anusol HC, Aquanil HC, Beta HC, Caldecort, Cetacort, Cortaid, Corticaine
  • More common:
    Skin rash, encrusted, scaly, and oozing
    stinging
    Less common:
    Burning, itching, redness, skin rash, swelling, or soreness at the application site
    cough or hoarseness
    dry skin
    fever or chills
    itching in the genital or other skin areas
    lower back or side pain
    painful or difficult urination
    rash
    rash with flat lesions or small raised lesions on the skin
    skin irritation
    Incidence not known:
    Blistering, burning, crusting, dryness, or flaking of the skin
    itching, scaling, severe redness, soreness, or swelling of the skin
    redness and scaling around the mouth
    thinning of the skin with easy bruising, especially when used on facial or intertriginous areas
  • For redness, itching, and swelling of the skin: For topical dosage form (cream): Adults—Apply to the affected area of the skin two or three times per day. Children—Apply to the affected area of the skin two or three times per day. For topical dosage form (lotion): Adults—Apply to the affected area of the skin two to four times per day. Children—Apply to the affected area of the skin two to four times per day. For topical dosage form (ointment): Adults—Apply to the affected area of the skin three or four times per day. Children—Apply to the affected area of the skin three or four times per day. For topical dosage form (solution): Adults—Apply to the affected area of the skin three or four times per day. Children—Apply to the affected area of the skin three or four times per day.