Can You Use Hydrocortisone Cream on Your Face for Eczema?

Can You Use Hydrocortisone Cream on Your Face for Eczema?

Dermeleve banner


Face it. If you suffer from eczema, you are probably tempted to try almost anything to get the itching to stop. This is especially true if the condition is on your face.

And with so many topical hydrocortisone products lining the store shelves, it's easy to see it as a main treatment option. However, using topical steroids like hydrocortisone can pose several risks such as skin thinning, acne, and irritation.

And on an area of the body as sensitive and forward-facing as the face, is the juice worth the squeeze?

Let's face the facts and see if eczema and other skin conditions that cause itching on the face are best treated with this medicine, even if it does have the risk of possible side effects.

However, before we can figure out if hydrocortisone is right for the condition, let's look into exactly what eczema is.

Boy looking in mirror at eczema on face

What is Eczema?

Eczema is a common skin condition that can affect various parts of the body, including the face. It is characterized by redness, discomfort, and sometimes even blisters or dry patches on the skin.

Close-up image of eczema on a person's hand. The skin appears red and flaky, with noticeable peeling.

Also known as atopic dermatitis, it can cause significant discomfort and distress when it affects the face.

This is because the skin on the face is particularly sensitive and prone to redness and irritation. People with eczema may experience flare-ups on their face due to various triggers.

Managing atopic dermatitis on the face requires gentle care and suitable products. This helps avoid further skin discomfort, such as sunburn, or damage.

These triggers can include stress, certain skincare products, or environmental factors. Those who suffer these conditions may benefit from using hydrocortisone products. But it's very important to be keenly aware of the side effects of hydrocortisone and the potential risks involved.

Overview of Hydrocortisone Cream and its Uses

Hydrocortisone is a topical corticosteroid that is commonly used to treat skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, and psoriasis

Close-up of a dictionary page showing the word "hydrocortisone" with its phonetic transcription and definition as a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal cortex to treat inflammation from eczema and arthritis.

It works by reducing inflammation and providing relief from symptoms like redness, itching, and swelling. Hydrocortisone comes in various forms, including lotions, creams and ointments; making them a go-to treatment option for many individuals with skin issues, including those on the scalp.

Importance of Safe and Proper Usage

While hydrocortisone can be effective in treating skin conditions like atopic dermatitis, it is essential to use it correctly and under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

Incorrect or extended use of topical steroids can lead to skin thinning, wrinkling, and potential skin damage. Prolonged use of topical steroids can also result in a condition known as topical steroid withdrawal (TSW), where the skin becomes dependent on the medication and can worsen once the steroid is discontinued.

Hydrocortisone on the face can also lead to adverse effects such as skin discoloration or “red face syndrome”, which can look like a sun burn.

A close-up of red, inflamed skin with small bumps. A person is applying a white cream to the affected area using their finger.

This highlights the importance of following the prescribed dosage and duration of use to prevent these harmful effects and complications.

Consulting a healthcare provider before using hydrocortisone can help ensure that it is the appropriate treatment for the specific skin condition and that it is applied correctly to maximize benefits while minimizing risks.

However, is it safe to use on the delicate skin of the face, especially with repeated use?

So, Can You Put Hydrocortisone On Your Face?

When considering to use hydrocortisone on your face, it is crucial to adhere to recommended dosages, and be aware of the risks of stopping treatment suddenly. This is the best way to avoid common side effects like acne and thinning of the skin.

Applying a thin layer of the cream on the affected areas sparingly is advisable so you don't use too much. Corticosteroids should only be used under the consultation of a healthcare provider, as the proper dosage guidance is essential to ensure effective treatment without causing harm to the delicate facial skin.

A man applies cream to his face while looking in a mirror.

Application Techniques and Dosage Recommendations

  • For optimal results, gently cleanse the face before applying hydrocortisone to remove any impurities that could interfere with the absorption of the medication.
  • Use clean hands to apply a pea-sized amount of the cream on the affected areas, avoiding contact with the eyes, mucous membranes, and hair growth areas.
  • Be sure to always wash your hands before AND after application.
  • Apply hydrocortisone thinly and evenly, and not more than the prescribed frequency to prevent adverse effects or skin thinning. This is one of the most common side effects of long-term use.

Potential Risks and Side Effects to Consider

While many hydrocortisone products can provide relief from skin conditions like eczema, it may also pose certain risks and side effects. 

These risks include stretch marks or acne. Prolonged or excessive use of hydrocortisone can cause to skin thinning, discoloration, or increased sensitivity, especially in the delicate facial area.

stretch marks

Additionally, some individuals may experience allergic reactions or skin irritation, highlighting the importance of using hydrocortisone with caution and under professional guidance.

Tips for Safely Incorporating Hydrocortisone Cream into Skincare Regimen

To safely integrate hydrocortisone into your skincare routine, start with a patch test on a small area of skin to check for any adverse reactions. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you experience any side effects. Avoid using the cream on broken or infected skin as it may exacerbate the condition and lead to common side effects.

We've said it before, and we'll say it again. It is crucial to follow a physician's instructions regarding the duration of use and any precautions to take. This is even more important during sun exposure or when using other skincare products simultaneously to enhance the effectiveness of hydrocortisone treatment.

Addressing Concerns and Misconceptions

Because hydrocortisone is available so widely, eczema sufferers often encounter myths about the usage of it on their facial skin, such as whether it could increase the risk of long-term damage.

Debunking these misconceptions is critical for informed decision-making about managing one's facial eczema.

Debunking Myths about Hydrocortisone Cream Usage for Facial Eczema

One prevalent myth is that hydrocortisone will immediately begin to thin the delicate skin on the face and cause irreparable damage. 

However, when used correctly and under professional guidance, the risk of skin thinning is lessened, making short-term use safer.

Clarifying the Difference Between Creams, Ointments, and Lotions

When it comes to managing atopic dermatitis on the face, understanding the contrast between creams, ointments, and lotions is essential.

tube of hydrocortisone cream

Creams are water-based and easily absorbed, making them suitable for facial skin.

Ointments are more oil-based and provide a protective barrier, ideal for severe dryness.

Lotions have a higher water content, offering a lighter option for less severe cases compared to creams or ointments.

Choosing the right formulation can enhance the effectiveness of eczema treatment on the face.

Exploring Alternatives and Complementary Treatments for Eczema on the Face

While hydrocortisone is a common treatment choice for facial eczema, exploring alternative and complementary therapies can complement traditional approaches.

Natural remedies like oatmeal baths, coconut oil, or probiotics may offer relief for some individuals.

A halved coconut and a small glass bottle filled with coconut oil are placed on a wooden surface against a rustic background.

Additionally, techniques such as stress management or dietary adjustments could help alleviate eczema symptoms, potentially reducing the need for hydrocortisone creams or ointments.

Consulting with healthcare professionals can guide individuals in finding personalized solutions for managing eczema on the face.

Dermeleve®: A Safer Alternative for Facial Itch

For those seeking an alternative to topical steroids for managing facial eczema, Dermeleve® is a safer product.

Dermeleve tube

Dermeleve® is a unique, non-steroidal cream formulated with natural ingredients like shea butter and ceramides. These ingredients work together to effectively soothe itch, reduce inflammation, and moisturize sensitive skin.

Here's why Dermeleve® stands out as a safer option for facial eczema:

Gentle and Non-Irritating:

Dermeleve®'s natural formula is designed to be gentle on the delicate skin of the face, minimizing the risk of irritation or allergic reactions.

No Topical Steroids to Damage Skin:

Because Dermeleve® is steroid free, there is no risk of skin damage from prolonged use of topical steroids. This means you can use it safely as frequently and as long as desired without harmful side effects or withdrawal symptoms when stopped steroid use.

Fast Itch Relief:

Dermeleve® begins to provide effective relief from the itching immediately, without having to wait the days and weeks for results like topical steroids.

Long Lasting Relief:

Dermeleve® not only works quickly; a single application lasts for hours. This means that you can finally get a good night's sleep again!

Does Not Require A Prescription:

Dermeleve® does not contain powerful and potentially dangerous topical steroids, so you are able to get it without a prescription directed for your doctor.

Hydration and Protection: 

Dermeleve®'s moisturizing properties help to restore the skin's natural barrier, protecting it from further discomfort and dryness.

Dermeleve banner

Wrap Up

Final Thoughts on Using Hydrocortisone Cream for Facial Eczema

So, let's recap. The use of hydrocortisone for facial eczema can be safe and effective when utilized correctly and with appropriate guidance. By understanding the benefits and risks associated with hydrocortisone application, individuals can make informed decisions about their skincare regimen, including knowing when to talk to your doctor.

Ultimately, individuals with facial eczema should prioritize seeking guidance from healthcare providers when considering hydrocortisone as part of their treatment plan.

A young woman touching her face with a concerned expression. She appears to be examining a skin issue or experiencing discomfort. She is wearing a white shirt with a plain background.

Professional advice can ensure that the use of hydrocortisone is tailored to individual needs, promoting effective eczema management and overall skin health, especially if other medications work better for you.

If you're concerned about the risk of side effects of topical steroids, Dermeleve® provides a safe and effective alternative for managing facial eczema. If you want a safer, faster-acting, longer-lasting alternative to topical steroids and high-potency cortisone formulations, Dermeleve® is your answer!

Back to blog