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What is Fluocinonide Cream?

By D. Jeffress
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Fluocinonide cream is a prescription topical solution used to relieve symptoms and shorten recovery time of many common skin conditions. Doctors often prescribe the cream for eczema, poison ivy and oak exposure, and several other forms of dermatitis. Fluocinonide is a synthetic corticosteroid that works by stopping the immune system's inflammatory response and preventing further irritation. It is important for patients to follow their doctors' orders carefully when using the cream to achieve the best results and avoid potentially adverse side effects.

Topical corticosteroids like fluocinonide cream are commonly used in the treatment of skin disorders, though medical researchers are unsure exactly why such drugs have anti-inflammatory properties. When the cream is absorbed into the skin, it constricts nearby blood vessels and halts the distribution of inflammation-inducing chemical signals from the immune system. Steroid cream has proven very effective in relieving itching, redness, dryness, and localized swelling when it is used as directed by a physician.

Fluocinonide cream is usually prescribed in 0.05% strength solutions, referring to the amount of the active ingredient, pure fluocinonide, in the gel. It is a white, non-greasy cream that is quickly absorbed into the skin when it is rubbed in with the hands. Patients are usually instructed to wash their hands immediately after applying the cream and to avoid contact with the eyes, nose, and mouth. Dosage is different for each patient and condition, but doctors usually recommend using the cream two to four times a day for about two weeks or until skin rashes are resolved.

Most people who use fluocinonide cream as instructed do not experience negative side effects, though it is possible for dryness and itching to actually worsen with frequent use. Some people are allergic to fluocinonide or inactive ingredients, and may experience hives, swelling, and skin irritation that are not limited to the area of skin on which the cream was applied. A severe allergic reaction can cause airway constriction and, in some cases, lead to dizziness and a rapid heart rate. An individual who experiences any adverse reaction should stop using the cream and seek immediate medical care.

Doctors are very careful when prescribing fluocinonide cream for infants and young children due to the possibility of serious health complications. Corticosteroids can cause hormonal imbalances in young patients, leading to delays in growth, weight changes, and high blood pressure. Some children acquire a blood disorder called Cushing's syndrome after taking corticosteroids. Children who are prescribed corticosteroids typically need to receive regular checkups so their pediatricians can make sure they continue to develop normally.

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Discussion Comments
By anon317930 — On Feb 04, 2013

I had an extremely itchy and very stubborn type of skin rash after a successful chemotherapy of cladrabine for hairy-cell leukemia. The rash was a mystery but this cream solved the problem very quickly with no difficulties.

By anon310779 — On Dec 26, 2012

I was given this by a dentist for a canker sore to help it heal and reliive the irritation.

By lighth0se33 — On Oct 27, 2012

My husband is allergic to poison ivy, and unfortunately, he gets it every time he takes a walk through the woods on our property. He also thinks that he may get it from our dogs after they run through it and he pets them.

His itching and rashes get so bad that he has to see a doctor every time. The prescription is always the same. He gets fluocinonide cream and steroid pills, along with a steroid shot. It seems his body needs a serious boost to fight this.

It seems a bit excessive, but when the breakouts are really bad, you have to fight back against the poison ivy hard. He always gets a huge tube of fluocinonide cream, and sometimes, using the leftovers on a subsequent outbreak is enough to control the itching until the rash goes away.

By anon257726 — On Mar 28, 2012

In July 2011, a Periodontist prescribed Fluocinonide Gel .05 pecent for me to rub on my gums as a treatment for lichen planus.

In December 2011 I developed hives and have had three incidents since. Could this be caused by the Fluocinonide?

By anon157956 — On Mar 05, 2011

i was given fluocinonide for hair loss! will this help my hair grow back? lorene

By chicada — On Jul 16, 2010

The corticosteroid mentioned in the article also comes in a fluocinonide ointment usp 0.05, a fluocinonide gel, and as Anon7200 pointed out a fluocinonide solution. These different solutions allow the patient to administer the drug to virtually any place on the body.

Fluocinonide, or lidex, is a versatile drug, but there are some long-term side effects associated with long-term use. Discoloration, thinning, and stretching of the skin are a few of these side effects. Corticosteroids in general can also lead to skin infections because they suppress local immune systems response.

By ValleyFiah — On Jul 16, 2010

@ Anon7200- Fluocinonide solution is a generic version of lidex so the side effects of the two drugs should be the same. As for having rashes, breakouts, or any other allergic reaction while using lidex, The drug manufacturer recommends that you discontinue use and see your physician.

Unfortunately, the adverse side effects for the drug are the same regardless of what it is suspended in. Only your doctor will be able to tell you if you are allergic to the drug, or one of the additional ingredients.

Your doctor may have you try the steroid in a different form, lower the dose, or prescribe a substitute. I hope this helps.

By anon72000 — On Mar 21, 2010

If you were to use fluocinonide solution versus, the cream, and you have an allergic reaction, would you have most likely had the same reaction if you have used the cream instead?

I am asking because I used the (liquid)solution instead of the cream and I now have breakouts on my scalp (this is where I had to apply it). Thank you.


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