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Quick summary

Type of medicine

Topical Corticosteroid


Yes (Generic Available)

Active Ingredient

Hydrocortisone 1% w/w

Effective within

Varies (Typically Hours)

Works by

Reducing Inflammation and Itching

Side effects

Skin Thinning, Irritation

Medication details


Hydrocortisone 1% w/w Cream is a topical medication used to relieve various skin conditions characterized by itching, inflammation, and redness. It belongs to the class of medications known as corticosteroids, which have anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties. This cream is available in a 15g tube, and the specific brand may vary depending on the pharmacy.


Proper application of Hydrocortisone 1% w/w Cream is essential to ensure its effectiveness and minimize the risk of side effects. Follow these general directions, but consult your healthcare provider or the medication's packaging for specific instructions:
Clean the Affected Area: Before applying the cream, gently clean the affected area with mild soap and water. Pat it dry with a clean, soft towel.
Apply a Thin Layer: Squeeze a small amount of cream onto your fingertip. Apply a thin layer to the affected area(s) and gently rub it in. Wash your hands thoroughly after application, unless your hands are the affected area.
Frequency of Use: The frequency of use and duration of treatment may vary depending on the specific skin condition and the recommendation of your healthcare provider or the product label. In most cases, apply the cream once or twice daily, but follow the guidance provided with the product.
Avoid Abrasive Materials: Avoid using abrasive materials or tight-fitting dressings over the treated area, as this can increase the risk of skin irritation.
Consult a Healthcare Provider: If your symptoms persist or worsen after using the cream, or if you experience any unusual side effects, consult your healthcare provider. Do not use the cream for longer than recommended without medical guidance.


The active ingredient in Hydrocortisone 1% w/w Cream is hydrocortisone, a mild corticosteroid that works by reducing inflammation, itching, and redness in the skin. In addition to the active ingredient, the cream may contain various excipients and preservatives to stabilize the formulation.

Side Effects

While Hydrocortisone 1% w/w Cream is generally considered safe when used as directed, it can cause side effects, especially with prolonged or inappropriate use. Common side effects may include:
Skin thinning
Burning or stinging sensation
Itching or redness
Dryness or peeling of the skin
These side effects are typically mild and resolve once you stop using the cream. However, if you experience more severe or persistent side effects such as skin discoloration, stretch marks, or increased hair growth, consult your healthcare provider.


Avoid Eyes and Face: Do not apply Hydrocortisone 1% w/w Cream to the eyes or face unless directed by a healthcare provider. If accidental contact occurs, rinse thoroughly with water.
Not for Open Wounds: Avoid using this cream on open wounds or areas with active infections, such as cold sores or herpes lesions.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, consult your healthcare provider before using this cream.
Allergies and Sensitivities: Inform your healthcare provider of any known allergies or sensitivities to corticosteroids or other ingredients in the cream.
Children: Exercise caution when using hydrocortisone cream on children, and follow your healthcare provider's recommendations.
Medical Supervision: If you have a pre-existing medical condition, consult your healthcare provider before using hydrocortisone cream. Use only on you skin as directed by your dr. Do not store above 25 C.

Medically reviewed and published

  • This page was medically reviewed by Dr Sohaib Imtiaz, Clinical Lead on Oct 5, 2023, 2:45 pm

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Start a consultation for your condition, select a treatment option, and our in-house clinicians will review and prescribe if suitable. Expect your order within 1-3 working days.

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Please read our FAQs page to find out more.

What is the difference between hydrocortisone cream and other topical corticosteroids?

Hydrocortisone is a mild corticosteroid that is often recommended for sensitive or delicate areas of the skin, such as the face and genitals. Other topical corticosteroids may have different potencies and are typically used for more severe skin conditions. The choice of corticosteroid depends on the specific skin condition and the recommendation of your healthcare provider.

Can I use Hydrocortisone 1% w/w Cream for insect bites or stings?

Yes, Hydrocortisone 1% w/w Cream can be used to relieve itching and inflammation caused by insect bites or stings. Apply a thin layer to the affected area as directed on the product label. If you experience an allergic reaction or severe symptoms, seek medical attention.

Can I apply makeup or sunscreen over Hydrocortisone 1% w/w Cream?

Yes, you can apply makeup or sunscreen over the cream after it has been absorbed into the skin. Wait for a few minutes after applying the cream before applying any cosmetics or sunscreen to ensure proper absorption.

Is Hydrocortisone 1% w/w Cream available over the counter (OTC)?

Yes, Hydrocortisone 1% w/w Cream is available without a prescription in many pharmacies and stores. It is commonly used for the temporary relief of itching and inflammation associated with various skin conditions. However, it's important to follow the product's specific instructions and consult a healthcare provider if your symptoms persist or worsen.

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