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Buy Hydrocortisone Cream for Eczema

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Hydrocortisone is medicine used to treat a variety of skin conditions, including eczema. You can get it as an ointment or cream and, when used correctly, it can relieve itching, swelling and irritation.

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Hydrocortisone cream 1% + Aveeno Lotion from £30
Hydrocortisone ointment 1% + Aveeno Lotion from £30
Hydrocortisone cream 1% + Cetraben Cream from £30
Hydrocortisone ointment 1% + Cetraben Cream from £30

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Hydrocortisone Cream for Eczema
Hydrocortisone is a steroid medicine that is used to provide relief from the symptoms of eczema, psoriasis and other skin conditions. 

What is hydrocortisone cream?

Hydrocortisone cream is a topical cream that contains the steroid medicine hydrocortisone. The cream is usually white and comes in a tube. It is available in a variety of strengths, depending on how severe your symptoms are.

What is hydrocortisone cream used for?

Hydrocortisone cream is used to provide relief from the symptoms of eczema and other skin conditions. Creams are light in texture and are best used on skin that is moist, like some forms of eczema.

What is hydrocortisone ointment?

Hydrocortisone ointment is a topical ointment that contains the steroid hydrocortisone. The ointment is usually white and comes in a tube. Like hydrocortisone cream, hydrocortisone ointment is available in a variety of strengths.

What is hydrocortisone ointment used for?

Unlike hydrocortisone cream, hydrocortisone ointment is a lot thicker and greasier in texture. They are used more often on skin that is extremely dry or flaky.

What is the difference between hydrocortisone cream and ointment?

Creams have a better absorption rate, which means they soak into the skin quicker. They are also lighter in texture compared to ointments. This means that creams will be better to treat skin that is moist or weepy, whereas ointments will be a better option for skin that is very dry or flaky.

What are some hydrocortisone cream brands?

There are a lot of hydrocortisone creams you can buy to treat skin conditions. The most well known in the UK are Hc45, Careway and Dermacort.

How does hydrocortisone cream work on eczema?

A skin reaction causes chemicals to be released into the skin, which then becomes inflamed. This makes the blood vessels widen and causes the skin to become very red, swollen and painful. Hydrocortisone is a steroid that works to stop these chemicals from being released into the skin. This will reduce symptoms like swelling, itchiness or redness of the skin.

How long does hydrocortisone cream take to work?

You should start to feel some relief from your symptoms within a few days of using hydrocortisone cream. If you see no difference after using hydrocortisone cream for one week, our doctors may be able to find you another medication that works better.

How long does hydrocortisone cream last?

A course of hydrocortisone cream usually lasts about 7 days. However, the length of your course will depend on why you are using hydrocortisone cream. For insect bites or nappy rash, you’ll only need to use it for a week. For long term conditions like eczema, you may need to use it for longer.

How to apply hydrocortisone

Before you apply your hydrocortisone cream, wash and dry your hands thoroughly. The amount of cream you’ll need is usually measured in fingertip units. This basically means the amount you can squeeze onto the end of your finger.

Spread the cream in a thin layer over the area of skin and carefully smooth it in the direction the hair grows until it disappears. Be sure to cover all of the irritated skin and not just the worst bits. Be extra careful to make sure it doesn’t go into any open wounds or cuts.

Can you use hydrocortisone on your face?

Do not put hydrocortisone cream on your face unless your doctor has told you to and given you a prescription for it.

The skin on your face is much thinner and more delicate than the skin on the rest of your body. So if hydrocortisone damages the delicate skin on your face, it will be very noticeable. As well as this, it can make common skin problems like acne much worse.

How often can you use hydrocortisone cream?

Most people apply hydrocortisone cream once or twice a day, usually first thing in the morning and last thing at night. If you use it twice a day, try to leave a gap of 8 to 12 hours between applications.

How long can you use hydrocortisone cream for?

Most people who are prescribed hydrocortisone only need to use it twice a day for 1 to 2 weeks, but people with long-term skin conditions may need to use hydrocortisone for a longer period of time. 

What happens if you stop taking hydrocortisone?

Topical cream like hydrocortisone cream is not strong enough to cause any withdrawal symptoms or harm if you stop using it.

Do not worry if you forget to apply your hydrocortisone cream once or twice, just apply it as soon as you have the chance. If you remember to apply it within a few hours of your next dose, just skip the missed dose and continue with your routine as normal.

Can I get a hydrocortisone cream online?

Yes, you can order hydrocortisone cream online through Superdrug Online Doctor. You will simply need to fill out a questionnaire, which is then reviewed by one of our doctors to make sure hydrocortisone is a suitable treatment for you. If your order is approved, your hydrocortisone can be sent directly to you, or to your local Superdrug Pharmacy to pick up.

How much is hydrocortisone cream?

Hydrocortisone packages start from £30 on Superdrug Online Doctor.

Can I buy hydrocortisone cream over the counter?

Yes, a pharmacist may sell you hydrocortisone cream without a prescription. Here at Superdrug Online Doctor you can order online and if our doctors agree it is a suitable treatment for you, it can be sent directly to your door. You can also pick it up from your local Superdrug store if that works better for you.
Hydrocortisone is a very common steroid medicine, and many people who take it will not get any side effects. But, just like any medication, there will be some who do. Mild hydrocortisone is very safe and many do not have side effects if you use them for less than four weeks.

You are more likely to have serious side effects if you are using a strong hydrocortisone treatment or have been taking hydrocortisone for a longer period of time.

Common side effects:
  • An initial stinging sensation that goes away
  • Redness of skin
Uncommon side effects:
  • Infection of the skin
  • Itching
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Irregular periods
Rare side effects:
  • Skin becomes redder or swollen, or yellow fluid is weeping from your skin
  • A very upset stomach or being sick (vomiting)
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Depression
  • Puffy, rounded face (moon face)
  • Muscle pain or weakness
  • Severe stomach pain

How long do hydrocortisone side effects last?

Some people feel a burning or stinging sensation the first time they put hydrocortisone on their skin, but this stops happening after using the medicine for a few days.

What should I do if I get side effects?

Besides an initial stinging sensation, it is very rare to get serious side effects from hydrocortisone cream. If you get any of the rare side effects listed above, stop using hydrocortisone and book an appointment to speak to your doctor. They may suggest you stop taking hydrocortisone, or that you take a different medication.

Who can use hydrocortisone cream?

Although hydrocortisone is widely used, it may not be suitable for some people. If hydrocortisone is not right for you, you may want to try another steroid medicine, like Eumovate.

You should not use hydrocortisone if you have a skin or eye infection.

Drug interactions

There are no medications that are known to have negative interactions with hydrocortisone in its topical cream form.
Alternative treatments include:
  • stronger or more potent steroid creams (such as Eumovate)
  • other topical creams like Pimecrolimus or Tacrolimus for sensitive areas not responding to standard treatment 
  • a short term course of corticosteroid tablets
  • antihistamines for severe itching and inflammation 
  • medicated bandages or special bodysuits

Eumovate or hydrocortisone?

Both Eumovate and hydrocortisone are topical steroid creams. However, Eumovate is typically stronger than hydrocortisone. Because of this, Eumovate is usually prescribed to people with more serious skin conditions with severe symptoms.

Superdrug Online Doctor: Eczema Treatment (2018) [accessed 5 July 2021]

NHS: Hydrocortisone for skin (2020) [accessed 2 July 2021]

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Reviewed by: Dr Babak Ashrafi in line with the Superdrug Online Editorial Process.

GMC no. 6077866

Dr Ashrafi studied at King’s College London and specialises in cardiology, diabetes, and stroke medicine.

Last reviewed on: 15/09/21