Ingredient Spotlight: Hydrocortisone


The first thing that probably pops in to your head with you hear the word hydrocortisone is itchy skin. And it’s true that this ingredient is at its best when you’re dealing with skin that’s particularly itchy while healing from some sort of trauma. But while hydrocortisone might be the first thing you grab when you get a mosquito bite, it can also help reduce redness, pain, chronic skin conditions, and adverse skin reactions.

Any time your body comes in contact with an irritating stimuli, your immune system is triggered to fend it off by sending blood to the affected area to start healing. You’ll notice this if you’ve ever been bit by a bug, but we frequently see this sort of uncomfortable reaction after patients have had a chemical peel, laser treatment, or are suffering with contact dermatitis. It’s all perfectly normal for your body to do this, but it can certainly be unpleasant. And if you know the reason for the irritation, and you know it isn’t dangerous, it can make it even more annoying when your body sounds the alarm so dramatically.

Hydrocortisone is a corticosteroid that, when applied topically, suppresses your immune system to alleviate the discomfort for you (especially any annoying itch). Most of the time, hydrocortisone comes in cream or gel and you should make sure to steer clear of any harsh ingredients that might worsen your inflammation and discomfort. Make sure the one you choose is fragrance-free and has additional soothing ingredients like aloe vera or squalene like Aloe Cort Cream 1%. This formula is quick to absorb and a must-have for anyone with frequently itchy skin or for people who live in the south where mosquito bites are commonplace.

Is there anything else you should know about hydrocortisone?

If you’re not sure if it’s safe for you, just give your physician or dermatologist a call to make sure you have the green light to use it. And be careful not to go overboard—we recommend no more than 2—3 applications daily and you should stop it altogether if it’s not clearing your skin concerns up after a week.

The best way to know what's going to work for your skin is to talk to your dermatologist and express what your biggest concerns are with your skin. If you want to learn more about what's in your skincare products, contact us at or call our office at 561-805-9399 to book an appointment with us.

Posted by Sarah M Kubrick | Supriya Dermatology