Treating An Itchy Rash or Skin with Hydrocortisone

Question: Is it bad to treat itchy skin with hydrocortisone, because it merely treats the itch (if even that) and not the underlying cause?

Answer: I must point out that hydrocortisone (which is a “topical corticosteroid”) sold over-the-counter is safe when used as recommended. Sometimes skin gets so dry that it also becomes inflamed, which usually leads to pinkness or redness. In that case hydrocortisone may be very helpful and perhaps even necessary to reduce the inflammation. Your physician may even prescribe a prescription-strength topical steroid if the dryness and inflammation are severe enough.

Published on 07/18/2011 | Last updated on 12/20/2016