- What Is It
- How to Use
- Side Effects
- Related Resources
If over-the-counter hydrocortisone has not improved your symptoms within 7 days, stop using it and consult your doctor.
What is hydrocortisone?
Hydrocortisone is a corticosteroid (steroid) medication that reduces pain, itching, and swelling by calming down your immune response (inflammation). It can be used to replace the natural stress hormone, cortisol, in people who do not produce enough of it.
Hydrocortisone is used to treat a variety of medical conditions and is available in the form of creams, injections, suppositories, and pills.
How to treat hemorrhoids
Take a sitz bath. Sitting in warm water increases blood flow to the affected area, which speeds up healing and eases pain. For this, you will need a tub, a shallow bucket, or a plastic sitz bath and fill it up with warm water. Spend 10-20 minutes sitting in the water 2-4 times a day. Use a clean cotton towel to gently pat the area dry afterward, or let it air dry.
Use Preparation H or a generic equivalent. Gently clean the area with an alcohol-free wet wipe or a soft, wet cloth. When applying the lotion, use a tissue. Apply Preparation H up to 4 times daily. You can also use hydrocortisone 1% cream (over the counter) or hydrocortisone 2.5% cream (prescription).
Use Preparation H or a generic equivalent suppository (available over the counter). The best time to use a suppository is right before bedtime but it can be used up to 4 times a day. For easier insertion, you can try putting K-Y jelly on the suppository. You can also use hydrocortisone 25 mg suppository (prescription) or proctofoam-HC (prescription).
How to use hydrocortisone cream for hemorrhoids
Pay attention to the instructions on the label. Below are steps to follow when using rectal hydrocortisone:
- Wash your hands before and after application.
- Apply a thin film of cream to the affected area.
- Use only on small areas of the skin. Avoid using on healthy skin.
- Do not use it more frequently than recommended.
Regarding the administration of this medication to children, consult your pediatrician since extra care will need to be taken. Avoid covering the area with plastic or tight-fitting diapers when administering hydrocortisone to a child.
What precautions should you take with rectal hydrocortisone?
Inform your doctor of the following before using rectal hydrocortisone:
- Allergies you may have, including those to medications, foods, or any ingredients in rectal hydrocortisone.
- Other prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, dietary supplements, and herbal products you are taking or intend to use.
- These include amphotericin B, anticoagulants (such as warfarin, aspirin, or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), barbiturates, carbamazepine, cyclosporine, digoxin, hormonal contraceptives, isoniazid, ketoconazole, macrolide antibiotics (such as clarithromycin or erythromycin), medications for diabetes, phenytoin, and rifampin.
- Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects. Many other medications may interact with hydrocortisone, so inform your doctor about all of them, even those that do not appear on this list.
- You are nursing a baby, intend to get pregnant, or are already pregnant.
- Intend to get vaccinated for another disease.
- You are about to undergo any surgery, including dental surgery.
- You have any of the following:
Rectal hydrocortisone can impair your ability to fight infection and prevent you from showing symptoms when exposed to infections. While taking this medication, avoid contact with people who are sick and wash your hands frequently. If you believe you may have come in contact with someone who has chickenpox or measles, contact your doctor immediately.
What are serious side effects of hydrocortisone cream?
The following side effects should be reported immediately to your physician or other healthcare providers:
- Skin irritation or burning
- Dark red skin patches
- Skin ailment that has not healed
- Hair follicles with painful, red, pus-filled blisters
- Loss of skin thickness
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Hydrocortisone Rectal. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a617001.html
Lidocaine And Hydrocortisone (Topical Application Route, Rectal Route). https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/lidocaine-and-hydrocortisone-topical-application-route-rectal-route/side-effects/drg-20072751?p=1
Hydrocortisone rectal cream. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/drugs/21008-hydrocortisone-rectal-cream
Hydrocortisone Rectal Suppository 25 mg. https://mountnittany.org/wellness-article/203_6778_hydrocortisone-rectal-suppository-25-mg
Hemorrhoid Care. https://thrive.kaiserpermanente.org/care-near-you/northern-california/santarosa/wp-content/uploads/sites/15/2015/10/HemorrhoidCare-v-1-12-091-R_tcm28-473733.pdf
Hydrocortisone (Topical). https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/patient-education/medications/hydrocortisone-topical-01
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