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How do I Choose the Best Hydrocortisone Creams?

By K. Gierok
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Hydrocortisone cream is most often used to treat arthritis, eczema, and other skin conditions. In order to achieve the best results when it comes to the treatment of these conditions, it is important to choose the best cream. Those who are interested in purchasing hydrocortisone cream should first evaluate their needs, including both why and where the cream will be used. Before making a final purchase, customers should do some background research on all potential creams, focusing on tests performed on the product, the results of these tests, and any potential side effects.

In order to choose the best creams, it is important for customers to first consider the reason for purchasing the cream. Those who are suffering from minor skin conditions or allergic reactions can typically achieve their desired results with mild, over-the-counter forms of hydrocortisone cream. In contrast, those who suffer from severe arthritis or other, more advanced skin conditions will often require a prescription-strength cream. Usually, these are only recommended when other forms of treatment prove unsuccessful, and can only be obtained through a prescription from a physician.

When looking for this product, interested customers should also consider the part of the body onto which the cream will be applied. In most cases when selecting between strengths of hydrocortisone creams, the body part affected trumps the severity of the condition. For example, those using this product on the face, neck, or hands are typically recommended to use a relatively mild product, while those searching for a cream for use on the arms, legs, or torso may achieve the best results with a stronger dose. In some cases, a pharmacist may be able to suggest a specialized product whose strength is in between that of prescription and over-the-counter preparations.

Customers who are interested in purchasing hydrocortisone creams should also read reviews of potential products before making a final decision. In most cases, these items are regulated for federal agencies that regulate medications and prescriptions. Interested individuals should therefore have no difficulty locating plenty of information related to tests performed on the products, as well as results of these tests, effectiveness rates, and potential side effects. In addition, a pharmacist or physician should be able to provide some information when it comes to particular products. Creams that are relatively new on the market and which have undergone little scientific testing should generally be approached with caution.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By honeybees — On Sep 26, 2012

Are hydrocortisone creams an effective treatment for something like poison ivy? I got into some poison ivy and have been treating it with some lotion, but it doesn't seem to be doing much good. It sounds like I need something stronger that will take care of the itching and I am hoping hydrocortisone cream will do the trick.

By John57 — On Sep 25, 2012

I have arthritis and have used several different hydrocortisone creams in the past. Eventually my arthritis got so bad that the creams I was using didn't do much good.

My doctor said that it was not good to over use hydrocortisone creams and I had to go with some stronger treatment. He did a procedure called ionophoresis. This is basically a procedure that produces an electric current to your skin which helps absorb the cream into your skin and down into your joints.

I was kind of scared about doing this at first, but had really good results after the treatment. It was nice to have some relief from my arthritis pain without constantly applying cream to my sore joints.

By bagley79 — On Sep 25, 2012

I have had eczema in the past and this can be pretty miserable. It is like having a red, itchy rash over much of your body. The constant itching can drive you crazy. If I get this on my arms, I will usually wear long sleeves to cover it up. If this is during the summer time, this can really be frustrating.

The thing that helps clear up the eczema more than anything else I have tried is hydrocortisone cream. I have tried several different creams and lotions and this works the best.

It doesn't seem to matter what brand I use, as long as I am consistent with applying it. As soon as I put the cream on, I can feel it go to work and the itching subsides. If I keep applying it several times a day, the eczema will eventually go away.

By Mykol — On Sep 24, 2012

When I broke out with an itchy rash on my stomach, the first thing I did was try a hydrocortisone cream. This was a maximum strength cream that used to be available only by prescription, but now you can buy it over-the-counter.

The cream also had some moisturizers in it and contained vitamins A, E and aloe which I think also helped with the healing.

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