What Is Hydrocortisone?
Hydrocortisone is a corticosteroid which has been used since last 50 years in the field of medicine. It is available in both OTC (over the counter) form and through prescription by the doctor.It works as an anti-inflammatory agent. It is available in different forms like creams, ointments, foam, stick, gel and lotions. Hydrocortisone creams are divided into I to VII categories based on their strengths. Category I is the strongest and category VII is the weakest which contains 1% hydrocortisone.
When Is Hydrocortisone Cream Used?
It is recommended to use hydrocortisone cream with the consent of a doctor. You can use hydrocortisone of VII category to treat skin problems of your child. It is safe for the child of age 2 and above.
Hydrocortisone cream is usually used to reduce redness, swelling and itching in baby’s skin and other discomforts. You can also use hydrocortisone to help in treating your baby’s chapped skin caused by drooling, poison ivy, skin allergies, rashes,baby acne, mild eczema,psoriasis ,cradle cap bug bites and auto immune diseases such as lymphoma and lupus.
Course Of Treatment
Your doctor will advise the course of treatment. You have to apply it regularly during the prescribed time. The course is usually short.
If you do not see improvement in affected part of skin after applying hydrocortisone medicine for consecutive three days, consult your doctor.
How To Apply Hydrocortisone Cream
Take a small amount of this medicine and rub it gently on the affected area, making sure it is evenly distributed. If not prescribed by the doctor, do not bandage the area on which it has been applied.
- Wash your hands after applying cream
- Do not use cream for a longer period of time
- Do not use it for longer or extended periods on face, backs of knees and backs of elbows
- It should not be applied in the groin region unless explicitly advised by the doctor
Using hydrocortisones for a longer period of time without doctor’s advice may cause following problems:
- Loss of skin pigmentation
Continuous use of hydrocortisone for a longer period of time may disturb pigmentation level of skin, which may cause change in skin color of your baby.
- Adernal gland dysfunction
Hydrocortisone is a steroid and over use may suppress adrenal glands. Too much use may cause your baby to stop producing these hormones.
- Thinning and tearing of skin:
Using hydrocortisone in large amount can cause thinning of skin of your baby and ultimately tearing of your baby’s skin.
- Infection in baby’s body
Prolonged steroid use can adversely affect the immune system, thus making your baby more prone to infection by bacteria
So Can I Use Hydrocortisone Cream On My Baby ??
Since category VII hydrocortisones have been found safe for children of 2 years of age or above, you can use them for a shorter period of time after consultation with your doctor. Avoid chronic use of hydrocortisone.
Stronger hydrocortisone ointments must not be used unless advised by the doctor. When advised, you have to follow the prescription to the letter.