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Eczema & Dermatitis Creams, Gels & Ointments

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Balneum Cream
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Always use Balneum Plus Cream exactly as your doctor has told you. You should check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.

  • The medicine is for external use by adults, the elderly and children.
  • Using clean hands, apply the cream to the affected areas twice a day until the symptoms have eased.

 

 

This medicine is used to treat dry, itchy, or scaly skin including dry skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis. It contains two main ingredients that work together to relieve itching and rehydrate dry skin by helping it to retain more moisture.

This medicine is available as a cream which is applied on to the skin.

Speak to your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse during treatment with this medicine.

Most medicines can cause some side-effects but not everyone having the same medicine will get the same side-effects.

The following side-effects have been associated with people having this medicine:

  • burning sensation
  • skin redness
  • itching
  • formation of pustules
  • worsening of eczema if applied to inflamed skin areas
  • allergic reactions

This medicine may not be suitable for everyone and some people must never have it. Check the leaflet that comes with your medicine to make sure that the medicine is suitable before having it.

Always get advice from a healthcare professional before having this medicine if:

  • you are allergic or sensitive to or have had a reaction to any of the ingredients in the medicine
  • you have a skin condition called erythroderma
  • you have skin that is inflamed, weeping, broken, or infected

Medicines interactions

If you are taking more than one medicine they may interact with each other. This medicine is unlikely to have any important interactions. But speak to your pharmacist or doctor if you get any unusual symptoms while having this medicine with other medicines.

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Balneum Plus Cream
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Using clean hands, massage cream into affected area twice a day, until symptoms have improved.

Balneum plus cream contains two active ingredients, urea and lauromacrogols. Urea is a substance that is found naturally in the skin, which by its nature is very attracted to water. It is used to help rehydrate dry, scaly skin. Lauromacrogols have the properties of local anaesthetics and soothe and relieve itchy skin.

Dry skin results from lack of water in the outer layer of skin cells known as the stratum corneum. When this layer becomes dehydrated it loses its flexibility and becomes cracked, scaly and sometimes itchy. The stratum corneum contains natural water-holding substances, including urea, which retain water seeping up from the deeper layers of the skin. Water is also normally retained in the stratum corneum by a surface film of natural oil (sebum) and broken-down skin cells, which slow down evaporation of water from the skin surface.

The skin dries out when too much water evaporates from its surface. This increases as we get older, and is made worse by washing, because hot water and soap remove the layer of natural oil on the skin surface.

When urea is applied to the skin it penetrates the stratum corneum, where it readily absorbs and retains water. This increases the capacity of the skin to hold moisture, and the skin therefore becomes rehydrated. The moisturising base that the urea is mixed in also provides a layer of oil on the surface of the skin, which helps prevent water from evaporating from the skin surface. Both actions soothe and soften the skin, and reduce the scaling and itching of dry skin conditions such as eczema and ichthyosis.

Moisturisers are helpful for all dry skin conditions, particularly eczema and dermatitis, which get worse when the skin is allowed to dry out. Used regularly they help restore the skin's smoothness, softness and flexibility by helping the skin retain moisture.

sing this medicine will experience that or any side effect.

  • Flushing of the skin due to widening of the small blood vessels (erythema).
  • Burning sensation.
  • Itching (pruritis).
  • Formation of pustules.



  • Areas of skin that have suddenly become inflamed.
  • Infected or inflamed areas of skin.
  • Severe, widespread reddening of the skin (erythroderma).

This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.

If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.



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  • Before you start using this preparation, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside your pack. The leaflet will give you more information about topical steroids and a full list of side-effects that you may experience from using them.
  • Apply a small amount on to the areas of skin which are inflamed. Then gently rub it into the skin until it has disappeared. If you are using a scalp application, apply it to dry hair, rub it in gently, and then allow the area to dry again naturally.
  • Your doctor will tell you how often to apply betamethasone. It must not be applied more than twice a day, and once a day is often sufficient.
  • Do not use betamethasone on any areas of open or infected skin unless you have a preparation which also contains an antibacterial or antifungal agent (such as Fucibet®, and Lotriderm®). If you are using one of these preparations, use it regularly twice daily for one week only, unless you have been directed otherwise by your doctor.
  • The amount of topical steroid that you should apply is commonly measured by fingertip units (FTUs). One FTU is the amount of cream or ointment that is squeezed out along an adult's fingertip (that is, from the very end of the finger to the first crease in the finger). As a guide, one FTU is enough to cover an area twice the size of an adult hand. Your doctor will give you an idea of how many FTUs you will need to cover the area of your skin which is affected.
  • If you are using more than one topical corticosteroid, make sure you know how and where to use each one. If you are unsure, check with your doctor or ask your pharmacist for further advice.
  • After you have applied betamethasone, wash your hands (unless your hands are the treated area).
  • If you are using betamethasone for psoriasis, make sure you follow your doctor's instructions carefully. It should not be used for large areas of psoriasis or for long periods of time, as these can cause your symptoms to flare up afterwards. If you are using the medicated plasters, carefully follow the directions on the printed information leaflet from inside the pack.

Betamethasone and clioquinol cream and ointment used to be marketed under the brand name Betnovate C cream and ointment. However, this product has been discontinued and the cream and ointment are now only available generically (ie without a brand name). Both contain two active ingredients, betamethasone valerate and clioquinol.

Betamethasone valerate is a type of medicine called a topical corticosteroid.

Corticosteroids are medicines used for reducing inflammation. Inflammation of the skin happens as a result of allergy or irritation of the skin, and is caused by the release of various substances that are important in the immune system. These substances cause blood vessels to widen and result in the irritated area becoming red, swollen, itchy and painful, such as is seen in dermatitis or eczema.

When betamethasone is applied to the skin it works by acting inside the cells to decrease the release of these inflammatory substances. This reduces swelling, redness and itch. Betamethasone is a potent corticosteroid.

Clioquinol has antifungal and antibacterial actions. It works by preventing the growth and multiplication of the organisms.

The combination of betamethasone and clioquinol is used to treat inflammatory skin disorders that are either already infected, or your doctor thinks are likely to become infected, for example because you are using airtight dressings. Dressings can create a warm, moist environment where bacteria and fungi can grow easily.

The cream is more suitable for moist, weeping areas of skin, while the thicker, more greasy ointment is more suitable for dry, scaly areas of skin.



Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.

  • Skin irritation, eg redness, rash, itching or burning on application, or allergic inflammation of the skin (contact dermatitis). Stop using this medicine and consult your doctor if you think you have experienced a reaction or your skin condition appears to be getting worse.
  • Spreading and worsening of infection. Tell your doctor if you think the infection is getting worse.
  • Thinning of the skin.
  • Reduced skin pigmentation.
  • Stretch marks (striae).
  • Groupings of fine blood vessels becoming prominent under the skin (telangiectasia).
  • Excessive hair growth (hypertrichosis).
  • Prolonged use of this medicine on extensive areas of skin, broken or raw skin, skin folds or underneath airtight dressings may on very rare occasions result in enough corticosteroid being absorbed to have side effects on other parts of the body, for example a decrease in the production of natural hormones by the adrenal glands, or symptoms of Cushing's syndrome - see warning section above.

The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer.



  • This medicine is for external use on the affected areas of skin only.
  • You should never use this medicine as a moisturiser.
  • Avoid getting this medicine in the eyes, or inside the mouth or nose. Rinse with cold water if accidental contact occurs.
  • If corticosteroids are used long term, on large areas of skin, raw skin, skin folds, or under airtight dressings (including nappies) they are absorbed into the body more. This increases the risk of local side effects such as skin thinning, and those on other parts of the body, such as a decrease in the production of natural hormones by the adrenal glands. For this reason, continuous, long-term use of this medicine should be avoided wherever possible, particularly in children and on large areas of skin. You should only use airtight dressings over the affected area if instructed by your doctor.
  • Do not use this medicine for longer than instructed by your doctor, or for recurrent infections without consulting your doctor, as this may cause the skin to become over-sensitive or allergic to the medicine.
  • If this medicine is used on the face, wherever possible it should not be used for longer than five days. You should not use airtight dressings to cover the area treated.
  • If used in children, wherever possible this medicine should not be used for longer than five days, or on the face. You should not use airtight dressings to cover the area treated. Be aware that children's nappies can also act as an airtight dressing and can increase the absorption of the medicine. Children being treated with this medicine should be reviewed by the doctor at least once a week.
  • This cream and ointment may stain skin, hair and fabric. You can protect clothes by covering the treated area with a non-airtight cotton bandage or piece of clean cloth.



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  • The cream or ointment should be applied thinly to the affected areas of skin once or twice a day, as directed by your doctor. Click here to see how much cream or ointment to use.
  • If your doctor has advised you to use dressings with this medicine, the skin should be cleansed before applying the cream or ointment under a fresh dressing.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after applying this medicine, unless the hands are the area being treated.
  • As this medicine also contains an antimicrobial it should not normally be used for longer than a week, as longer term use may increase the chances of micro-organisms becoming resistant to the medicine. If the infection does not seem to be clearing up within a few days of using this medicine you should consult your doctor.
  • Don't use this medicine more often or for longer than advised by your doctor.
  • You should not dilute this medicine with moisturisers or any other products. If you are using other medicines or moisturisers on the same area of skin it is recommended that you leave at least 30 minutes between applying each product. This is to allow each product time to be absorbed and avoid them mixing on the skin.

Betamethasone and neomycin cream and ointment used to be marketed under the brand name Betnovate N cream and ointment. However, this product has been discontinued and the cream and ointment are now only available generically (ie without a brand name). Both contain two active ingredients, betamethasone valerate and neomycin.

Betamethasone valerate is a type of medicine called a topical corticosteroid.

Corticosteroids are medicines used for reducing inflammation. Inflammation of the skin happens as a result of allergy or irritation of the skin, and is caused by the release of various substances that are important in the immune system. These substances cause blood vessels to widen and result in the irritated area becoming red, swollen, itchy and painful, such as is seen in dermatitis or eczema.

When betamethasone is applied to the skin it works by acting inside the cells to decrease the release of these inflammatory substances. This reduces swelling, redness and itch. Betamethasone is a potent corticosteroid.

Neomycin is an antibiotic of the aminoglycoside type and is used to treat infections with bacteria. It works by affecting the bacteria's production of certain proteins that are necessary for their survival. It causes the bacteria to produce abnormal and faulty proteins. This ultimately kills the bacteria. Neomycin is included in this preparation to treat the bacteria that sometimes infect inflammatory skin diseases.

The combination of betamethasone and neomycin is used to treat inflammatory skin disorders that are either already infected, or your doctor thinks are likely to become infected, for example because you are using airtight dressings. Dressings can create a warm, moist environment where bacteria and fungi can grow easily.

The cream is more suitable for moist, weeping areas of skin, while the thicker, more greasy ointment is more suitable for dry, scaly areas of skin.

This cream and ointment are used in short courses to treat inflammatory skin conditions such as those listed below, when milder corticosteroids have not been effective and when the condition is either already infected or likely to become infected.

  • Eczema of various types.
  • Skin inflammation due to allergies or irritants (allergic contact dermatitis or irritant contact dermatitis).
  • Inflammatory skin condition with greasy, red and scaly areas (seborrhoeic dermatitis).
  • Psoriasis.
  • Thickened skin rash caused by excessive scratching to relieve itching (neurodermatitis, eg lichen simplex).
  • An eruption of hard nodules in the skin accompanied by intense itching (prurigo nodularis).
  • Skin disorder causing a flat, itchy, violet rash, usually on the wrists, shins, lower back and genitals (lichen planus).
  • Inflammatory skin disease known as discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE).
  • Intense and widespread reddening of the skin (generalised erythroderma) in combination with oral or injected corticosteroids.
  • Reactions to insect bites and stings.

Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.

  • Skin irritation, eg redness, rash, itching or burning on application, or allergic inflammation of the skin (contact dermatitis). Stop using this medicine and consult your doctor if you think you have experienced a reaction or your skin condition appears to be getting worse.
  • Spreading and worsening of infection. Tell your doctor if you think the infection is getting worse.
  • Thinning of the skin.
  • Reduced skin pigmentation.
  • Stretch marks (striae).
  • Groupings of fine blood vessels becoming prominent under the skin (telangiectasia).
  • Excessive hair growth (hypertrichosis).
  • Prolonged use of this medicine on extensive areas of skin, broken or raw skin, skin folds or underneath airtight dressings may on very rare occasions result in enough corticosteroid being absorbed to have side effects on other parts of the body, for example a decrease in the production of natural hormones by the adrenal glands, or symptoms of Cushing's syndrome - see warning section above.

The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer.

For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.



  • This medicine is for external use on the affected areas of skin only.
  • You should never use this medicine as a moisturiser.
  • Avoid getting this medicine in the eyes, or inside the mouth or nose. Rinse with cold water if accidental contact occurs.
  • If corticosteroids are used long term, on large areas of skin, raw skin, skin folds, or under airtight dressings (including nappies) they are absorbed into the body more. This increases the risk of local side effects such as skin thinning, and those on other parts of the body, such as a decrease in the production of natural hormones by the adrenal glands. For this reason, continuous, long-term use of this medicine should be avoided wherever possible, particularly in children and on large areas of skin. You should only use airtight dressings over the affected area if instructed by your doctor.
  • Do not use this medicine for longer than instructed by your doctor, or for recurrent infections without consulting your doctor, as this may cause the skin to become over-sensitive or allergic to the medicine.
  • If this medicine is used on the face, wherever possible it should not be used for longer than five days. You should not use airtight dressings to cover the area treated.
  • If used in children, wherever possible this medicine should not be used for longer than five days, or on the face. You should not use airtight dressings to cover the area treated. Be aware that children's nappies can also act as an airtight dressing and can increase the absorption of the medicine. Children being treated with this medicine should be reviewed by the doctor at least once a week.

Use with caution in:

  • Children (see above).
  • Elderly people.
  • Decreased kidney function.
  • Psoriasis. If you have been prescribed this medicine to treat psoriasis you should have regular check-ups with your doctor. This is because although corticosteroids may be useful for psoriasis in the short-term, they can sometimes make psoriasis worse, and may cause the condition to relapse into generalised pustular psoriasis
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Betnovate Cream
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Betnovate Cream
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  • Betnovate cream, ointment or lotion should be applied thinly to the affected areas of skin once or twice a day to start with. As soon as the condition starts to improve, you should use it less frequently, as directed by your doctor. Click here to see how much cream or ointment to use.
  • If your doctor has advised you to use dressings with this medicine, the skin should be cleansed before applying the cream, ointment or lotion under a fresh dressing.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after applying this medicine, unless the hands are the area being treated.
  • Betnovate should not be used for longer than four weeks at a time. However, if you are applying this medicine to the face or to a child's skin, it should preferably not be used for longer than five days at a time. If your skin condition has not improved after two to four weeks of treatment you should consult your doctor. Repeat courses maybe necessary to control flare-ups of your skin condition, but should only be started on the advice of your doctor.
  • Don't use this medicine more often or for longer than advised by your doctor.
  • Don't apply your moisturisers to the same area of skin at the same time as this medicine. Try to leave at least 30 minutes between applying moisturisers and this medicine, as otherwise the moisturiser could dilute the corticosteroid and potentially make it less effective.




Betnovate cream, ointment and lotion all contain the active ingredient betamethasone, which is a type of medicine called a topical corticosteroid. Betamethasone cream and ointment are also available without a brand name, ie as the generic medicine.

Corticosteroids are medicines used for reducing inflammation. Inflammation of the skin happens as a result of allergy or irritation of the skin, and is caused by the release of various substances that are important in the immune system. These substances cause blood vessels to widen and result in the irritated area becoming red, swollen, itchy and painful, such as is seen in dermatitis or eczema.

When betamethasone is applied to the skin it works by acting inside the cells to decrease the release of these inflammatory substances. This reduces swelling, redness and itch.

There is a range of potencies of corticosteroids available for application to the skin. Betnovate cream, ointment and lotion contain betamethasone valerate 0.1% and are classed as potent corticosteroids. They are prescribed to treat various inflammatory skin disorders, such as eczema and dermatitis, that have not responded to milder steroids.

Betnovate cream is more suitable for moist, weeping areas of skin, while the thicker, more greasy ointment is more suitable for dry, scaly areas of skin. Betnovate lotion spreads easily and is more suitable for hairy areas of skin, or when minimal application to a large area of skin is needed.

Betnovate cream, ointment and lotion are used to treat a variety of inflammatory, allergic or itchy skin disorders, such as those listed below, when milder corticosteroids have not been effective.

  • Eczema of various types.
  • Skin inflammation due to allergies or irritants (allergic contact dermatitis or irritant contact dermatitis).
  • Inflammatory skin condition with greasy, red and scaly areas (seborrhoeic dermatitis).
  • Psoriasis.
  • Thickened skin rash caused by excessive scratching to relieve itching (neurodermatitis, eg lichen simplex).
  • An eruption of hard nodules in the skin accompanied by intense itching (prurigo nodularis).
  • Skin disorder causing a flat, itchy, violet rash, usually on the wrists, shins, lower back and genitals (lichen planus).
  • Inflammatory skin disease known as discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE).
  • Intense and widespread reddening of the skin (generalised erythroderma) in combination with oral or injected corticosteroids.
  • Reactions to insect bites and stings.



Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.

  • Skin irritation, eg redness, rash, itching or burning on application, or allergic inflammation of the skin (contact dermatitis). Stop using this medicine and consult your doctor if you think you have experienced a reaction or your skin condition appears to be getting worse.
  • Spread or worsening of untreated infections.
  • Thinning of the skin.
  • Reduced skin pigmentation.
  • Stretch marks (striae).
  • Groupings of fine blood vessels becoming prominent under the skin (telangiectasia).
  • Excessive hair growth (hypertrichosis).
  • Prolonged use of this medicine on extensive areas of skin, broken or raw skin, skin folds or underneath airtight dressings may on very rare occasions result in enough corticosteroid being absorbed to have side effects on other parts of the body, for example a decrease in the production of natural hormones by the adrenal glands, or symptoms of Cushing's syndrome - see warning section above.

The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer.

For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.



  • Betnovate cream, ointment and lotion are for external use on the affected areas of skin only.
  • You should never use Betnovate as a moisturiser.
  • Avoid getting this medicine in the eyes, or inside the mouth or nose. Rinse with cold water if accidental contact occurs.
  • If corticosteroids are used long-term, on large areas of skin, raw or broken skin, skin folds, or under airtight dressings they are absorbed into the body more. This increases the risk of local side effects such as skin thinning, and those on other parts of the body, such as a decrease in the production of natural hormones by the adrenal glands. For this reason, continuous, long-term use of this medicine should be avoided wherever possible, particularly in children and on large areas of skin. You should only use airtight dressings over the affected area if instructed by your doctor. If there is no improvement in your skin after two to four weeks of treatment you should consult your doctor.
  • If this medicine is used on the face, wherever possible it should not be used for longer than five days. You should not use airtight dressings to cover the area treated.
  • If used in children, wherever possible this medicine should not be used for longer than five days, or on the face. You should not use airtight dressings to cover the area treated. Be aware that children's nappies can also act as an airtight dressing and can increase the absorption of the medicine. Children being treated with this medicine should be reviewed by the doctor at least once a week.
  • If you think the area of skin you are treating has become infected you should stop using this medicine and consult your doctor.

Use with caution in

  • Children (see above).
  • Psoriasis. If you have been prescribed this medicine to treat psoriasis you should have regular check-ups with your doctor. This is because although corticosteroids may be useful for psoriasis in the short-term, they can sometimes make psoriasis worse, and may cause the condition to relapse into generalised pustular psoriasis after the treatment is stopped.




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Betnovate Ointment
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  • Side Effects
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Price
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  • Betnovate cream, ointment or lotion should be applied thinly to the affected areas of skin once or twice a day to start with. As soon as the condition starts to improve, you should use it less frequently, as directed by your doctor. Click here to see how much cream or ointment to use.
  • If your doctor has advised you to use dressings with this medicine, the skin should be cleansed before applying the cream, ointment or lotion under a fresh dressing.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after applying this medicine, unless the hands are the area being treated.
  • Betnovate should not be used for longer than four weeks at a time. However, if you are applying this medicine to the face or to a child's skin, it should preferably not be used for longer than five days at a time. If your skin condition has not improved after two to four weeks of treatment you should consult your doctor. Repeat courses maybe necessary to control flare-ups of your skin condition, but should only be started on the advice of your doctor.
  • Don't use this medicine more often or for longer than advised by your doctor.
  • Don't apply your moisturisers to the same area of skin at the same time as this medicine. Try to leave at least 30 minutes between applying moisturisers and this medicine, as otherwise the moisturiser could dilute the corticosteroid and potentially make it less effective.




Betnovate cream, ointment and lotion all contain the active ingredient betamethasone, which is a type of medicine called a topical corticosteroid. Betamethasone cream and ointment are also available without a brand name, ie as the generic medicine.

Corticosteroids are medicines used for reducing inflammation. Inflammation of the skin happens as a result of allergy or irritation of the skin, and is caused by the release of various substances that are important in the immune system. These substances cause blood vessels to widen and result in the irritated area becoming red, swollen, itchy and painful, such as is seen in dermatitis or eczema.

When betamethasone is applied to the skin it works by acting inside the cells to decrease the release of these inflammatory substances. This reduces swelling, redness and itch.

There is a range of potencies of corticosteroids available for application to the skin. Betnovate cream, ointment and lotion contain betamethasone valerate 0.1% and are classed as potent corticosteroids. They are prescribed to treat various inflammatory skin disorders, such as eczema and dermatitis, that have not responded to milder steroids.

Betnovate cream is more suitable for moist, weeping areas of skin, while the thicker, more greasy ointment is more suitable for dry, scaly areas of skin. Betnovate lotion spreads easily and is more suitable for hairy areas of skin, or when minimal application to a large area of skin is needed.




Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.

  • Skin irritation, eg redness, rash, itching or burning on application, or allergic inflammation of the skin (contact dermatitis). Stop using this medicine and consult your doctor if you think you have experienced a reaction or your skin condition appears to be getting worse.
  • Spread or worsening of untreated infections.
  • Thinning of the skin.
  • Reduced skin pigmentation.
  • Stretch marks (striae).
  • Groupings of fine blood vessels becoming prominent under the skin (telangiectasia).
  • Excessive hair growth (hypertrichosis).
  • Prolonged use of this medicine on extensive areas of skin, broken or raw skin, skin folds or underneath airtight dressings may on very rare occasions result in enough corticosteroid being absorbed to have side effects on other parts of the body, for example a decrease in the production of natural hormones by the adrenal glands, or symptoms of Cushing's syndrome - see warning section above.

The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer.

For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.



  • Betnovate cream, ointment and lotion are for external use on the affected areas of skin only.
  • You should never use Betnovate as a moisturiser.
  • Avoid getting this medicine in the eyes, or inside the mouth or nose. Rinse with cold water if accidental contact occurs.
  • If corticosteroids are used long-term, on large areas of skin, raw or broken skin, skin folds, or under airtight dressings they are absorbed into the body more. This increases the risk of local side effects such as skin thinning, and those on other parts of the body, such as a decrease in the production of natural hormones by the adrenal glands. For this reason, continuous, long-term use of this medicine should be avoided wherever possible, particularly in children and on large areas of skin. You should only use airtight dressings over the affected area if instructed by your doctor. If there is no improvement in your skin after two to four weeks of treatment you should consult your doctor.
  • If this medicine is used on the face, wherever possible it should not be used for longer than five days. You should not use airtight dressings to cover the area treated.
  • If used in children, wherever possible this medicine should not be used for longer than five days, or on the face. You should not use airtight dressings to cover the area treated. Be aware that children's nappies can also act as an airtight dressing and can increase the absorption of the medicine. Children being treated with this medicine should be reviewed by the doctor at least once a week.
  • If you think the area of skin you are treating has become infected you should stop using this medicine and consult your doctor.




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Betnovate Scalp Application
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Betnovate Scalp Application is used for eczema, psoriasis or dermatitis affecting the scalp.

It is normally applied to the scalp twice daily, in the morning and at night. As your condition improves, you can reduce this down to once daily. It should not be used more often than twice daily. 

For some people it may be easier to have someone apply Betnovate Scalp Application for you. If someone applies your Betnovate for you, they should wear disposable plastic gloves or wash their hands thoroughly after use.

Whilst using Betnovate Scalp Application, you should wash and shampoo your hair before application to ensure it has time to absorb into the skin and is not washed off. As Betnovate Scalp is flammable, do not use a hairdryer whilst using the treatment.

Betnovate Scalp Application should not be used for more than 10 days consecutively. It should not be used for a long period of time without a break.

Instruction for using Betnovate Scalp Application

Wash your hands.

Unscrew the bottle cap and place the nozzle on the scalp that needs treating.

Gently squeeze the bottle to cover the area with a thin and even layer of liquid.

You can rub this liquid in, but you don't have to.

Your scalp will feel cool until the liquid has dried.

Wash your hands again.

If you forget to apply Betnovate, apply it as soon as you remember. If it is close to the time that your next application is due, skip the dose and apply at the normal time.

Betnovate Scalp Application is a prescription-only medicine containg betamethasone valerate 0.1% and is available to buy online from The Independent Pharmacy. All you need to do is fill in a short health questionnaire and our in-house healthcare team can quickly get your treatment dispatched and offer any appropriate advice.

Betamethasone is a corticosteroid that is applied topically to the area affected by redness, irritation or inflammation. Betmethasone is absorbed through the skin and then helps to block the release of inflammatory chemicals that cause the symptoms of ezcema. Betamethasone is classed as a 'potent' (strong) steroid and is useful in clearing up conditions where weaker treatments have been ineffective.

Betnovate Scalp Application is not intended for every day usage. It should be used to manage acute attacks of ezcema on the scalp where the skin becomes very dry and irritated. You should then use moisturisers or emmolients to keep the skin in good condition day-to-day.

Betnovate Scalp Application does not always cause side effects, however like all medicines they are possible. Side effects are normally associated with Betnovate Scalp being applied incorrectly or being used in higher doses or quantities than recommended.

Possible side effects from Betnovate Scalp Application can include:

(less than 1 in 10 people)

  • A feeling of burning, irritation or itching where the liquid is applied.

(affects less than 1 in 10,000 people)

  • stretch marks may develop

  • veins under the surface of your skin may become more noticeable

  • increased hair growth and changes in skin colour

  • thinning of your skin and it may also damage more easily

  • weight gain, rounding of the face and high blood pressure. These are more likely to happen in infants and children.

Stop using Betnovate Scalp and seek medical attention if:

  • you find that your skin condition gets worse or becomes swollen during treatment. You may be allergic to Betnovate, have an infection or need other treatment.

  • you have psoriasis and you get raised bumps with pus under the skin. This can happen very rarely during or after treatment and is known as pustular psoriasis.

If any of the above side effects become serious, or if you notice any side effects not listed here or in the accompanying patient inforamtion leaflet, please consult your doctor or pharmacist. 

You should not use Betnovate Scalp Application:

  • if you are allergic (hypersensitive) to betamethasone valerate or any of the other ingredients of Betnovate (listed under the ingredients tab).

  • if you have a skin infection on your scalp (this may appear as an open wound that may be sticky or pussing).

  • on children.

  • if you have previously had an allergic reaction with another steroid.

  • if you are applying the liquid under an airtight dressing. These dressings make it easier for the active ingredient to pass through the skin. It is possible to accidentally end up using too much.

  • if you have psoriasis, your doctor will want to see you more often.

If you are not sure if any of the above apply to you, talk to your doctor or pharmacist, or contact us, before using this medicine. 

Pregnancy and breast-feeding

You should not purchase this medicine online if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Talk to your doctor before using this medicine if you are pregnant, might become pregnant or are breast-feeding. 

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Cetraben Bath Additive
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Cetraben Bath Additive

  • Run a bath as normal
  • Squeeze the bottle to fill the optic (see the steps on how to use the dispenser below)
  • The easy to use optic dispenses 10ml every time, which is sufficient for 10cm of water in the bath
  • On average 10ml should be added to a child's bath and 20ml to an adults bath
  • Cetraben bath additive can be used in both the bath and shower

This medicine is a used to moisturise and protect dry or chapped skin in conditions such as eczema. It contains white soft paraffin and light liquid paraffin which are emollients that rehydrate dry skin. They form an oily layer on the skin that helps the skin to retain more moisture.

This medicine is available as a cream which is applied on the affected areas of skin.

Speak to your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse during treatment with this medicine.

Most medicines can cause some side-effects but not everyone having the same medicine will get the same side-effects.

The following side-effects have been associated with people having this medicine:

  • allergic skin reactions including rash and redness of the skin - stop using this medicine if you get a rash or a skin reaction

This medicine may not be suitable for everyone and some people must never have it. Check the leaflet that comes with your medicine to make sure that the medicine is suitable before having it.

Always get advice from a healthcare professional before having this medicine if:

  • you are allergic or sensitive to or have had a reaction to any of the ingredients in the medicine

Medicines interactions

If you are taking or using more than one medicine they may interact with each other. This medicine is unlikely to have any important interactions. But speak to your pharmacist or doctor if you get any unusual symptoms while having this medicine with other medicines.

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Diprobase Cream
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  • Suitable for mild to moderate eczema
  • Use as a soap substitute for cleansing and moisturising
  • Recommended for day-time use

Diprobase cream doesn't contain any active ingredients as such. It is made from a mixture of liquid and white soft paraffins and water, to produce a moisturiser that is lighter and less greasy than Diprobase ointment. It also contains cetomacrogol and cetostearyl alcohol as emulsifying agents, chlorocresol as an antimicrobial preservative, phosphoric acid, and sodium dihydrogen phosphate. It works by providing a layer of oil on the surface of the skin to prevent water evaporating from the skin surface.

Dry skin results from lack of water in the outer layer of skin cells known as the stratum corneum. When this layer becomes dehydrated it loses its flexibility and becomes cracked, scaly and sometimes itchy. The stratum corneum contains natural water-holding substances that retain water seeping up from the deeper layers of the skin. Water is also normally retained in the stratum corneum by a surface film of natural oil (sebum) and broken-down skin cells, which slow down evaporation of water from the skin surface.

The skin dries out when too much water evaporates from its surface. This increases as we get older and is made worse by washing, because hot water and soap remove the layer of natural oil on the skin surface.

Moisturisers are helpful for all dry skin conditions, particularly eczema and dermatitis, which get worse when the skin is allowed to dry out. Used regularly they help restore the skin's smoothness, softness and flexibility by helping the skin retain moisture. They should be applied frequently, particularly before or after washing, to prevent the skin drying out.

In conditions such as eczema, using a moisturiser regularly, even once the skin has improved, can help prevent flare-ups of this condition.



Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.

  • Skin irritation in people hypersensitive to any of the ingredients.

The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer.

For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.

  • This preparation is for external use on the skin only.
  • Avoid contact with the eyes.

Not to be used in

  • Known sensitivity or allergy to any ingredient.



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Diprobase Ointment
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Always use Diprobase exactly as your doctor has told you. You should check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.

For adults and children, the ointment should be applied thinly to cover the affected area completely, massaging gently and thoroughly into the skin.

If the symptoms persist or the condition worsens, stop using the ointment and consult your doctor or pharmacist.

If you forget to use DIPROBASE

If you forget to use your Diprobase at the right time, use it as soon as you remember, then carry on as before.

Diprobase is an emollient, moisturising and protective ointment. It helps to soothe, smooth and hydrate the skin and prevent moisture loss.

In adults and children, Diprobase Ointment is used to treat red, inflamed, damaged, dry or chapped skin and to protect raw skin areas. If you are suffering from a skin condition called eczema, and your skin is dry, the ointment can be applied before having a bath, to prevent your skin from drying even further.

Eczema is a common skin disease, which causes the skin to become red and itchy. 

Like all medicines, Diprobase can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.

If your symptoms persist or the condition worsens, stop using the ointment and consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Skin reactions including itching, rash, redness, peeling, burning, pain, dryness and skin inflammation (dermatitis) have been reported with product use.

If you are worried by this or any other effects, you should tell your doctor or pharmacist.

If any of the side effects gets serious, or if you notice any side effects not listed in this leaflet, please tell your doctor or pharmacist. 

Do not use DIPROBASE

- if you, or your child, have ever had an allergic reaction to Diprobase or any of its ingredients. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure. 

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Fucibet Cream
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How to apply Fucibet Cream

Fucibet cream is for external use on the skin only. Remove the cap. Check the seal is not broken before you first use the cream. Then push the spike in the cap through the seal on the tube.

Always wash your hands before using Fucibet. Rub the medicine gently on the skin. Unless you are using the cream to treat your hands, always wash your hands after using Fucibet.

How much Fucibet to use

The usual treatment time is 7-10 days. You should notice your skin improve after just a few days of using the cream. If there is no improvement after 7 days you should stop using the cream and go to your doctor for further advice. Do not use Fucibet cream for more than two weeks.

Usually you should use this medicine twice each day. Use it in the morning and evening. To remind you to use the medicine it may help to use it when you do another regular action, such as brushing your teeth.

You can use your first (index) finger to measure how much Fucibet to use. Squeeze the cream along your finger from the tip to the first joint as shown in the diagram provided in the Patient Information Leaflet with your cream. This is called a fingertip unit. The usual number of finger tip units you need to cover different parts of the body is shown in the diagrams in the Patient Information Leaflet. If you need to use a little more or a little less do not worry.

Fucibet Cream contains two active ingredients; Fusidic Acid and Betamethasone. It is applied topically and is mainly used to treat infected eczema or dermatitis. Fucibet Cream is manufactured by Leo Laboratories Limited and is classified as a prescription-only-medicine (POM).

The ingredient Fusidic Acid is an antibiotic medicine. It is used to treat bacterial infections. It does this by inhibiting the production of new proteins within the bacteria. These proteins are essential to the bacteria, enabling them to multiply. Without these proteins the infection is unable to increase or spread. Fusidic Acid doesn’t actively kill the bacteria itself. Once their ability to multiply has been halted, they will eventually die off or be killed by the body’s natural immune response. Sometimes eczema and dermatitis can present with a bacterial infection. Using Fusidic Acid Cream, in these cases, will be an effective means of treatment.

The other active, Betamethasone belongs to a group of medicines called topical Corticosteroids. These are effective treatments for reducing the skin inflammation associated with eczema or dermatitis. Our body’s immune system can sometimes release chemicals and substances that can irritate the skin, causing the blood vessels to dilate (widen). This widening can result in the affected area(s) becoming red, painful, itchy or swollen. Betamethasone works by penetrating inside the skin cells, reducing the release of these inflammatory substances. This will in turn decreases the associated redness, swelling and itch.

Fucibet Cream is primarily used to treat eczema and dermatitis where a bacterial infection is present. The two active ingredients work well together for this form of eczema. The Fusidic Acid actively treats the infection, while the strong corticosteroid action of the Betamethasone effectively reduces the associated inflammation and swelling. Fucibet Cream should not be used on areas of the skin that are infected by anything other than dermatitis. For example impetigo, thrush, nappy rash, rosacea, or viral infections, such as herpes (cold sores/genital herpes).

You must get urgent medical help if you have any of the following symptoms, you may be having an allergic reaction:

  • You have difficulty breathing
  • Your face or throat swell
  • Your skin develops a severe rash.

Other possible side effects can include:

  • Skin problems
  • Skin irritation
  • Burning feeling
  • Itching
  • Worsening of your eczema
  • Stinging feeling
  • Skin redness 

Any of the problems listed above are more likely if Fucibet is used for a long time, in large amounts or on skin folds (such as armpits or under breasts). 

Do not use Fucibet:

  • If you are allergic (hypersensitive) to fusidic acid or betamethasone valerate.
  • If you are allergic (hypersensitive) to any of the other ingredients in your medicine.
  • To treat a skin condition called acne rosacea. This is redness and inflammation over your nose and cheeks. Ask your doctor if you are unsure.
  • To treat a skin condition called perioral dermatitis. This is a red spotty rash around your mouth or chin.
  • To treat skin conditions caused only by bacteria, such as boils or spots.
  • To treat a skin condition caused by a virus, such as cold sores or chickenpox.
  • To treat a skin condition caused by a fungus, such as athlete’s foot
  • Do not use this medicine on your face or near?your eyes. If the cream gets into the?eye, this may lead to glaucoma.
  • On open wounds or sensitive areas such as?the nostrils, ears, lips or genitals, or on thin skin, skin ulcers, broken veins or acne. 

If you use the cream over a long time or in large amounts it?may make the chance of getting any side effects higher. Also your skin may get more sensitive to this medicine.

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Fucidin Cream
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How to apply Fucidin cream

  • Always wash your hands before and after using Fucidin cream
  • Apply a small amount of Fucidin cream to the area of infected ezcema three to four times daily
  • Do not cover the area that is being treated with a dressing
  • Apply the cream for seven days. You should complete the course even if you think the infection has healed.

If your infection does not improve after using Fucidin cream for three days, you should see your doctor for further advice.

Fucidin cream is an antibiotic cream used to treat infected areas of ezcema and dermatitis. Infections can occur commonly in conditions such as ezcema where the skin becomes dry, cracked and damaged allowing bacteria to penetrate easily. Fucidin cream can quickly treat infections like this in seven days. 

Fucidin cream should only be used to treat infected areas of ezcema or dermatitis that have previously been diagnosed by a doctor and have returned with similar symptoms. Fucidin cream is not suitable to purchase online to treat other infections or skin conditions and may not be effective in treating these conditions.

Please note, if your infection does not improve, or gets worse, after using Fucidin cream for three days you should see your doctor for further treatment.

Fucidin cream should not be used to treat infections in children under 18 without seeing your doctor face-to-face.

Fucidin cream can cause side effects though these normally only appear in a very small minority of patients. If you suffer from side effects whilst using Fucidin cream they may include:

  • Pain, burning, irritation, stinging or redness at the site of application
  • Rash or hives
  • Skin swelling or blistering

A very small minority of people may be allergic to Fucidin cream or one of the ingredients. If you experience any of the following symptoms you should seek medical attention immediately:

  • Swelling of the face, throat, lips or tongue.
  • Severe rash or itching.
  • Wheezing or difficulty breathing.

Always ensure you read the patient information leaflet with Fucidin before using the cream.

You should not use Fucidin cream:

  • If you are allergic to fusidic acid or any of the other ingredients.
  • If you are pregnant or breast feeding.
  • In large quantities or for long periods of time.

Fucidin cream is unlikley to cause an interaction with any medicines you are taking.

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Fucidin H Cream
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Always wash your hands before using Fucidin H Cream. Rub the medicine gently on the skin.

Unless you are using the cream to treat your hands, always wash your hands after using Fucidin H Cream.

If you accidentally get any medicine in your eye, wash it out with cold water straight away. Then bathe your eye with eyewash if possible. Your eye may sting. If you start to have any problems with your sight or your eye is sore, contact your doctor immediately.

Fucidin H cream should be applied twice daily around 12 hours apart, usually in the morning and evening.

The usual treatment time is up to a maximum of 14 days. Do not use Fucidin H for longer than this. You should notice your skin improve after just a few days of using the cream. If there is no improvement after 7 days you should stop using the cream and go back to your doctor.

You can use your first (index) finger to measure how much Fucidin® H Cream to use. Squeeze the cream along your finger from the tip to the first joint as shown in the diagram. This is called a fingertip unit.

The usual number of finger tip units you need to cover different parts of the body is shown on the diagrams in the Patient information Leaflet provided with your medicine. If you need to use a little more or a little less do not worry.

Fucidin H cream is a prescription-only antibiotic and steroid combination cream. It contains the active ingredients hydrocortisone 1% (a steroid) and fusidic acid 2% (an antibiotic) to both treat infection and reduce inflammation. It is for use in ezcema and dermatitis where there is also an infection present where it helps to both treat the infection and calm the ezcema. It should not be used for other skin conditions such as rosacea, thrush, impetigo, general infections or cold sores.

Fusidic acid treats the infection by stopping protein production in the infecting bacteria. Without proteins the bacteria are unable to multiply meaning the infection does not spread and can be effectively overcome by your own immune system.

Hydrocortisone is a topical corticosteroid. When infection and irritation is present, the body releases inflammatory chemicals causing redness, itching and swelling. Hydrocortisone halts the release of inflammatory chemicals and subsequently helps to reduce the symptoms of inflammation.

Fudicin H is not as potent (strong) as Fucibet cream, which contains the stronger corticosteroid, betamethasone.

Most people use Fucidin H cream without experiencing any adverse effects. However like all medicines, there is a chance of experiencing side effects. These can include:

  • Skin irritation (consult your doctor if you think your condition may be getting worse).
  • Thinning of the skin
  • Loss of pigmentation
  • Stretch marks
  • Excessive hair growth
  • Inflammation of the follicles

These side effects are most common if Fucidin H is used for long peroids of time, applied in skin folds or if the area of skin is covered by a dressing.

You should seek urgent medical attention if you experience any of the following side effects:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of the face or throat
  • Severe skin rash

Do not use Fucidin H Cream:

    • If you are allergic (hypersensitive) to fusidic acid or hydrocortisone acetate.

    • If you are allergic (hypersensitive) to any of the other ingredients in your medicine. You can find a list of these ingredients in section 6 of this leaflet.

    • To treat a skin condition called acne rosacea. This is redness and inflammation over your nose and cheeks. Ask your doctor if you are unsure.

    • To treat a skin condition called perioral dermatitis. This is a red spotty rash around your mouth or chin.

    • To treat skin conditions caused by tuberculosis or syphilis.

    • To treat skin conditions caused only by bacteria, such as boils or spots.

    • To treat a skin condition caused by a virus, such as cold sores or chickenpox.

    • To treat a skin condition caused by a fungus, such as athlete’s foot.

Take special care with Fucidin® H Cream:

    • If you are going to use this medicine near your eyes or the eyes of a child. If the cream gets into the eye, this may lead to glaucoma.

    • If you use the cream over a long time or in large amounts it may make the chance of getting any side effects higher. Also your skin may get more sensitive to this medicine.

    • You must not use the medicine for a long time on your face.

    • Unless your doctor has told you to, you must not use Fucidin H Cream on open wounds or sensitive areas such as the nostrils, ears, lips or genitals.

    • Unless your doctor has told you to, you must not use Fucidin H Cream on thin skin, skin ulcers, broken veins or acne.

    • Adrenal suppression may occur. Signs are tiredness, depression and anxiety. This can be reversed by stopping Fucidin H Cream.

    • Treatment should be stopped after 7 days if your skin has not improved after using Fucidin H cream. 

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Hydrocortisone Cream 1%
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Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Hydrocortisone topical will not treat a bacterial, fungal, or viral skin infection.

Wash your hands before and after each application, unless you are using hydrocortisone topical to treat a hand condition.

Apply a small amount to the affected area and rub it gently into the skin.

Avoid using this medicine on your face, near your eyes or mouth, or on body areas where you have skin folds or thin skin.

Do not cover the treated skin area unless your doctor tells you to.

If you are treating the diaper area of a baby, do not use plastic pants or tight-fitting diapers. Covering the skin that is treated with hydrocortisone topical can increase the amount of the drug your skin absorbs, which may lead to unwanted side effects. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse while using hydrocortisone topical.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

opical cream, ointment, solution, gel, or lotion:

Apply to the affected area 2 to 4 times a day.

For treatment of resistant dermatoses, hydrocortisone may be used with occlusive dressings.
 

Hydrocortisone is a topical steroid. It reduces the actions of chemicals in the body that cause inflammation.

Hydrocortisone topical is used to treat inflammation of the skin caused by a number of conditions such as allergic reactions, eczema, or psoriasis.

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Topical steroid medicine can be absorbed through the skin, which may cause steroid side effects throughout the body. Stop using hydrocortisone topical and call your doctor if you have:

  • blurred vision, or seeing halos around lights;

  • uneven heartbeats;

  • sleep problems (insomnia);

  • weight gain, puffiness in your face; or

  • tired feeling.

Common side effects may include:

  • acne, skin redness, mild burning or itching;

  • changes in skin color; or

  • dryness or cracking of treated skin.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 

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Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Hydrocortisone topical will not treat a bacterial, fungal, or viral skin infection.

Wash your hands before and after each application, unless you are using hydrocortisone topical to treat a hand condition.

Apply a small amount to the affected area and rub it gently into the skin.

Avoid using this medicine on your face, near your eyes or mouth, or on body areas where you have skin folds or thin skin.

Do not cover the treated skin area unless your doctor tells you to.

If you are treating the diaper area of a baby, do not use plastic pants or tight-fitting diapers. Covering the skin that is treated with hydrocortisone topical can increase the amount of the drug your skin absorbs, which may lead to unwanted side effects. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse while using hydrocortisone topical.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

opical cream, ointment, solution, gel, or lotion:

Apply to the affected area 2 to 4 times a day.

For treatment of resistant dermatoses, hydrocortisone may be used with occlusive dressings.
 

Hydrocortisone is a topical steroid. It reduces the actions of chemicals in the body that cause inflammation.

Hydrocortisone topical is used to treat inflammation of the skin caused by a number of conditions such as allergic reactions, eczema, or psoriasis.

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Topical steroid medicine can be absorbed through the skin, which may cause steroid side effects throughout the body. Stop using hydrocortisone topical and call your doctor if you have:

  • blurred vision, or seeing halos around lights;

  • uneven heartbeats;

  • sleep problems (insomnia);

  • weight gain, puffiness in your face; or

  • tired feeling.

Common side effects may include:

  • acne, skin redness, mild burning or itching;

  • changes in skin color; or

  • dryness or cracking of treated skin.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 

About Eczema & Dermatitis

Eczema & Dermatitis Background

The Independent Pharmacy Online Doctor service allows patents suffering with the distress of eczema to have a private consultation with a doctor and receive the treatment they require in a safe and discreet manner.

Eczema is a long-term condition that affects the skin. It can also be referred to as dermatitis. Mild cases of eczema will cause the skin to become dry and itchy. It may also become scaly and red. In more severe cases of eczema, the skin may present with crusting, weeping or bleeding.

Eczema is a common skin condition affecting approximately one in every five children. The condition is slightly less common in adults, only affecting one in every twelve. As these statistics suggest, a significant number of children will ‘grow out’ of eczema during their teenage years.

The skin on our bodies is designed to provide a protective barrier against irritants and infections. It consists of three layers; a thin outer layer (epidermis), an elastic middle layer (dermis) and a fatty inner layer (hypodermis). All three layers contain skin cells, water and fats that help maintain and protect the condition of the skin.

Someone who suffers with eczema may not produce sufficient fats and oils to properly maintain these layers. This will also reduce the skin’s ability to retain water, causing the skin cells to become dry and cracked. This dryness can lead to tiny gaps opening up in the skin, making it easier for irritants and bacteria to penetrate its surface. It’s these irritants that cause the skin to become damaged, red and inflamed. This can lead to the sufferer scratching and splitting the skin open, causing it to bleed and leaving the wound open to infection.

Eczema & Dermatitis Symptoms

There are different types of eczema that can affect the sufferer in different ways:

Atopic Eczema: This is the most common form of eczema. It is primarily seen in children but can affect people of all ages. Fortunately, most children will grow out of this type of eczema by their teenage years. The term ‘atopic’ refers to the fact that it generally has an unknown cause. These conditions are usually hereditary, although they are not always passed directly from parent to child and may skip a generation.

Atopic eczema will present itself as an itch that chiefly affects the creases and folds of the body, such as the inside of the elbows, backs of knees and the hands. This itch can become dry and red, with flare-ups occurring in small patches or all over the body. Spontaneous flare-ups are usually the result of an external trigger, the most common being: soaps, pollens, animal dander, overheating, house-dust mites, stress and harsh clothing.

Contact dermatitis: This is sometimes referred to as contact eczema. Contact dermatitis affects around 10% of the UK population making it the most common type of work related skin disease. This form of eczema can cause red, itchy and scaly skin that can sometimes sting and burn. It can lead to the skin becoming dry, cracked and blistered. Contact dermatitis can affect any part of the body, though the most commonly affected area tends to be the hands.

Most cases of contact dermatitis are caused by the skin coming into contact with irritants, substances that physically damage the skin. Examples of these are detergents, soaps, antiseptics, perfumes and solvents. These irritants account for approximately eight out of ten cases of contact dermatitis. Another cause comes in the form of an allergen, which is a substance that causes the body’s immune system to react in a way that affects the skin.

Seborrhoeic eczema: This form of eczema affects the areas of the body that contain a large number of sebaceous glands, such as the scalp and the sides of the nose. It is characterised by a red rash or in case of the scalp; dandruff. It most commonly affects the scalp and face but it can spread to the centres of the chest and back. The armpits, under the breasts, groin, genitals and in between the buttocks can also be affected. The cause of seborrheic eczema isn’t fully understood. It is thought to be caused by a yeast known as pityrosporum ovale. This yeast is found on the skin of those affected by seborrheic eczema, however it is unclear whether the yeast is the sole cause or just a contributing factor to this form of dermatitis.

Discord eczema: This is sometimes referred to as nummular dermatitis and is usually found in adults with dry skin. This form of eczema presents as coin shaped discs of affected skin that are roughly the size of a two-pound coin. These discs have a slightly bumpy texture before they begin to ooze and crust over. The surface of the discs can then become scaly before the centre of the discs clears, leaving the skin dry and flaky. Discord eczema will usually affect the lower legs, forearms or trunk. As with other forms of eczema the exact causes of nummular dermatitis is unclear. However, most sufferers presenting with the condition tend to have dry skin.

Gravitational eczema: This is sometimes referred to as varicose or static dermatitis. This form of eczema affects the lower legs and is more commonly experienced in later life. Poor circulation, blood clots and varicose veins put a person more at risk of developing this condition. Gravitation eczema will appear as dark red or brown patches under the outer layer of skin. As the condition progresses the skin becomes very thin and fragile and can easily break down, potentially causing an ulcer. In more severe cases the skin can start to weep, causing larger areas to crust over, leading to a varicose leg ulcer. This form of eczema is the result of poor circulation, which causes an increased pressure in the lower legs, leading to blood leaking through the very small vessels in the legs.    

Asteatotic eczema: This is sometime referred to as eczema cracquelee. This form of dermatitis will in most cases only affect those over the age of sixty years. Astatotic eczema will present as small islands of dry rough skin clustered closely together. The appearance resembles ‘crazy paving’ with red and pink fissures or groves separating each ‘slab’. Sufferers will experience soreness and itching in the affected areas. This type of eczema will initially occur on the shins but can be found on the upper arms, lower back and thighs as well. Asteatotic eczema is thought to be caused by a significant decrease in the oils on the skin’s surface. This may be the result of over cleansing or vigorous scrubbing. Low humidity can also contribute to developing the condition.

Pompholyx eczema: This can sometimes be referred to as dyshidrotic eczema. The main symptom of this form of eczema is a blistering that is confined to the hands and feet. These blisters are mainly found along the sides of the fingers and on the palms of the hand. In feet, they are predominantly found on the soles. The skin will be inflamed and feel very itchy. The blisters are prone to breaking and weeping with the skin beginning to peel as it starts to dry out. 

Eczema & Dermatitis Diagnosis

In most cases eczema and dermatitis can be easily diagnosed by your GP or pharmacist through a visual examination of the skin coupled with questions about your symptoms. Mainly they will want to know when the symptoms first appeared and what substances you have been exposed to. They will likely ask questions about your occupation and lifestyle in an attempt to identify what triggers or factors are causing your symptoms. If your GP is unable to diagnose eczema, they may refer you to a dermatologist. Seeing a dermatologist may also be necessary if your eczema has been successfully diagnosed but you are not responding to conventional treatment.

Eczema & Dermatitis Treatment

Emollients:

Emollients are moisturisers designed to keep the skin feeling hydrated, flexible and less itchy. One of the most important aspects of treating all types of eczema is keeping the skin soft and supple. This can be achieved by frequently applying generous amounts of emollients. Emollients are available in a variety of preparations, including; creams, ointments and lotions. If used on a daily basis, emollients effectively controls mild to moderate eczema.

Emollients, such as Aqueous cream and Dermol Lotion, contain cleansing properties and are especially useful when used as a soap or shower gel substitute. Bubble baths, like soaps, can dry and irritate the skin. By using an emollient bath oil, such as Balneum Medicinal Bath Oil you can still cleanse, moisturise and indulge without the irritation. Emollients work best if applied directly after showering or bathing as water is still trapped in the skin. It is recommended that they be applied both generously and frequently (at least 3 - 4 times a day).

Emollient creams: Many people prefer using creams during the day as they feel lighter on the skin. However, all creams contain preservatives, which for some, can cause irritation over time. Examples of emollient creams include:

  • Aqueous Cream
  • Balneum & Balneum Plus Cream
  • Dermol Cream
  • Diprobase Cream
  • Doublebase Gel
  • E45 Cream
  • Epaderm Cream
  • Hydromol Cream
  • Oilatum Cream

Emollient ointments: Unlike creams, ointments do not contain preservatives so are less likely to cause irritation. Ointments are by nature more greasy and for this reason many find them cosmetically unattractive. For this reason, many people use emollient ointments at night for intensive moisturising when the greasiness is less of an issue. It is not recommended to use ointments on weeping skin as ointments are effective at holding moisture, a cream or lotion is more appropriate in these circumstances. Ointment emollients are ideal for very dry and thickened skin. Examples of emollient ointments include:

  • Diprobase Ointment
  • Epaderm Ointment
  • Hydromol Ointment

Emollient Lotions: The preparations are ideal for areas of the body that are hairy. They contain more water and less fat than creams so aren’t as effective as a moisturiser. Examples of emollient lotions include:

  • Aveeno Lotion
  • Dermol 500 Lotion
  • E45 Lotion

Specially formulated products designed for use in shower and bath include:

  • Hydromol Bath and Shower Emollient
  • E45 Emollient Shower Cream
  • Dermol 600 Bath Emollient
  • Dermol 200 Shower Emollient
  • Doublebase Emollient Shower Gel
  • Doublebase Emollient Bath Additive
  • Cetraben Emollient Bath Additive
  • Balneum & Balneum Plus Antipruritic Medicinal Bath Oil
  • Aveeno Body Wash

Topical Corticosteroids:

Topical corticosteroids refer to creams or ointments that contain steroids. When used as directed by your doctor or pharmacist, corticosteroids are one of the most effective treatments for eczema and dermatitis. Usually, a corticosteroid will be used if the skin has become very inflamed and red. These preparations are applied directly to the skin and work to rapidly reduce the inflammation. When using corticosteroids, a thin layer is applied to the affected area, usually no more than twice a day. For most cases, a single daily application will only be required.

There are varying types and strengths of topical corticosteroids, the appropriate selection will be made based on the severity of symptoms and where on the body they are located. Weaker corticosteroids are usually recommended for cases of mild eczema, or for the more sensitive areas of the body. A stronger corticosteroid will likely be recommended for use on the palms of the hands or the soles of the feet and areas where the skin is thicker. If presenting with severe eczema or dermatitis, a strong corticosteroid may be prescribed for short-term use only. Examples of topical corticosteroids include:

Weaker preparations:

  • Hydrocortisone Cream 1%
  • Eumovate Cream (Clobetasone)
  • Eumovate Ointment (Clobetasone)

Stronger preparations:

  • Betnovate Cream (Betamethasone)
  • Betnovate Ointment (Betamethasone)
  • Fucibet Cream (Betamethasone & antibiotic)

If the use of emollients and topical corticosteroids have proven ineffective at controlling your eczema, it may become necessary to seek alternatives treatments from a dermatologist. These can include; phototherapy and steroid-sparing immunosuppressant therapy. 

Eczema & Dermatitis Prevention

There are many self-help ways in which eczema flare-ups can be reduced or prevented. Including:

  • Use an appropriate emollient regularly to keep skin soft and moisturised.
  • Avoiding exposure to extreme temperatures, such as very hot baths or showers.
  • Avoid using harsh soaps, bubble baths and cosmetic products that can irritate the skin.
  • After bathing or showering, pat dry with a soft cotton towel. This technique will leave a little moisture on the skin. By then applying a moisturising cream or lotion more moisture is locked into the skin.
  • During the winter months use a humidifier. This will add moisture to the dry air experienced during the heating season.
  • If contact dermatitis is the cause of your eczema flare-up, avoid contact with known triggers, such as detergents, cleaning solutions, other chemical irritants, jewellery, plants and any substance that triggers skin allergies.

*RRP is based on the highest price found for a comparable online service found on 04/09/14.

Eczema Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

1.Whats the difference between creams, ointments, lotions and which is the best one to use?

Ointments tend to be thicker and harder to apply but they tend to last longer on the skin compared to creams.

In contrast creams are easier to apply but may require frequent applications.

Lotions are particularly useful when applying to hairy/large areas of skin as they go on easier.

The best emollient is the one you use most often. 

Different emollients can be used depending on your own routine. e.g. a cream can be applied easily in the morning when you are rushing to get to work and an ointment can be applied at night when you have a little more time.

 

2.Whats the best time to apply my eczema cream?

Emollients moisturize the skin and should be applied as often as necessary. Examples of emollients are Diprobase, Balneum and Cetraben.

This can be 3-4 times a day or even more. Washing the skin with soap, gels or even hot water can strip the skin of moisture. Special care should be taken to moisturize often especially after washing. This will ensure the skin is protected from drying out.

Emollients can also be used in bath water and in the shower as a soap substitute. Contact us for a free sample- Email

Preparations that contain a steroid include Fucibet, Fucidin H, Hydrocortisone, Betnovate and Betamethasone.

These should be applied as directed by the doctor and should be used sparingly.

 

3.How much do I have to apply?

Emollients can be applied as often as you need them. If you applied a cream to your trunk and limbs twice a week you would need approximately 500g to ensure an even and thorough coverage.

Steroid application is measured in Finger Tip Units or FTU’s. It is the amount of cream from the end of the finger to the first crease. Typically one FTU would cover a hand and the fingers.

4.What if I forget to apply the cream?

Emollients can be applied as often as required. It is important to keep the skin hydrated so apply frequently and regularly. If you forget an application, apply at the earliest opportunity.

Thick emollient ointments sometimes block the hair follicles in the skin. This may cause a mild inflammation or infection of the affected hair follicles, which is called folliculitis.

Steroid preparations- If you forget to apply your cream or ointment, apply the correct dose when you remember, and then carry on as before.

5.Should I be worried about side effects?

The side effects of emollients are limited and minimal. Creams and ointments bought over the counter can contain colors and perfumes. It is possible you may become allergic or react to these ingredients rather than the emollient itself.

Prescription items don’t have colors or perfumes and are less likely to cause any irritation.

Steroid containing medicines applied to the skin are well tolerated and cause minimal effects when used short term. (This is for a period of 4 weeks or less)

If used for longer periods or when short courses are often repeated then there is more likelihood of developing side effects. If you have any question about this then email us for confidential advice. doctor@tiph.co.uk

 6.When using an emollient and a steroid, which one do you apply first?

 Apply the emollient first and allow it be absorbed. This usually takes 10- 15 minutes and the skin should feel slightly tacky to touch.

You are then ready to apply the steroid.

 

The Independent Pharmacy is an online pharmacy and online doctor service is owned and operated by ABSM Healthcare Ltd (Company Reg. 08515600) and Red Label Medical Ltd (Company Reg. 08676338). All information that appears on this website is intended for information purposes only and should be used to supplement, not replace, your relationship with your local healthcare professionals. You should consult your doctor if you think you may have a health problem or before you start taking a new medicine. Please ensure you always read the information leaflets supplied with any medicinal products.For more information see our policies and terms and conditions at the bottom of every page. © 2014 ABSM Healthcare Ltd. All rights reserved.
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