Hydrocortisone

Hydrocortisone 1% cream or ointment to treat eczema. Available to buy online from Dr Fox.

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Buy Hydrocortisone online in UK

How to order Hydrocortisone online for UK delivery:

  1. Read medical information about eczema treatment
  2. Answer medical questions to check for eligibility
  3. Reviewed by doctors - posted from UK pharmacy (tracked 24hr service)

Prices

Eczema treatmentQuantityCost
Hydrocortisone cream1 x 15gm tube (in stock)£3.40
Hydrocortisone cream1 x 30gm tube (in stock)£5.90
Hydrocortisone cream1 x 50gm tube (in stock)£8.20
Hydrocortisone cream2 x 50gm tubes (in stock)£14.00
Hydrocortisone ointment1 x 15gm tube (in stock)£3.40
Hydrocortisone ointment1 x 30gm tube (in stock)£5.90
Hydrocortisone ointment1 x 50gm tube (out of stock)£8.20
Hydrocortisone ointment2 x 50gm tubes (out of stock)£14.00

Price match guaranteePrice match guarantee
Prescription issued online - small prescription fee per order.

Compare prices: Dr Fox prices are 25%-50% lower cost than other online clinics.

Prescription fees

Dr Fox supplies medicine on prescription and charges a small prescription fee based on the order value of each prescription.

Prescriptions are issued by our doctors online and sent electronically to our pharmacy.

Order valuePrescription fee
up to £10£1.00
up to £20£2.00
up to £40£3.00
over £40£4.00

If you have your own private paper prescription please post to our pharmacy (details).

Dr Fox prices are 25%–50% lower than other UK online clinics.

Comparative costs of hydrocortisone 1% from UK online clinics (14 July 2021) - qualifying notes
*Dr Fox adds a small prescription fee not included in table above.
  1. The prices shown are listed by the online clinics named after a customer first enters consultation information and is offered prescriptions. It is possible these clinics may have special offers or lower prices for repeat supplies.
  2. Prices may change and are, to the best of our knowledge, accurate on the date stated. All products in stock and new condition.
  3. Dr Fox does NOT claim to provide a superior service to any of the online clinics listed. All the clinics listed, as far as we can tell, comply with all regulation and, as far as we can tell, operate to high ethical standards.
  4. Dr Fox adds a small prescription fee not included in the table (between £1 and £4 depending on value of the order).
  5. To amend the information in this table please contact us
  6. The prices listed in the table do not identify the cost of prescription medicine as online clinics charge a single fee to cover services which includes advice, consultations, prescriptions and dispensing and supply of treatments.
  7. Where services include free delivery this is using the slowest delivery option available. Dr Fox uses Royal Mail Tracked 24.
TreatmentDr Fox*Independent PharmacyPharmacy2USimple Online Pharmacy
Hydrocortisone 1% x 50gm£8.20£13.99£10.00£10.99

Delivery charges

UK delivery only: £2.90 per consultation via Royal Mail 24 Signed For (1-3 working days with tracking).

Parcel forwarding services are not permitted. Use only UK home or work delivery address.

Returns and refunds - unwanted items can be returned within 14 working days for a full refund.

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About Hydrocortisone

  • Hydrocortisone 1% is a mild corticosteroid to treat eczema and is available as cream or ointment.
  • Use once or twice daily on affected areas - maximum 2 weeks use (maximum 5 days on the face).
  • Read the patient leaflet for a full list of side effects, cautions, and interactions with other drugs.

Hydrocortisone cream and ointment

Hydrocortisone is a mild potency steroid used to treat eczema. It is available from Dr Fox as a 1% cream or an ointment.

Hydrocortisone cream and ointment should generally only be used for eczema on the eyelids and face. Hydrocortisone is not usually strong enough to effectively treat eczema on the arms, trunk, and legs.

About eczema

In eczema there is inflammation and loss of natural skin oils causing drying out of the skin. Dry skin is not effective as a barrier to keep toxins and irritants out of the body. This leads to further inflammation and a cycle of drying, leading to inflammation, in turn leading to more drying. Eczema is the name for these dry inflamed skin patches.

Treating eczema

Hydrocortisone cream or ointment will reduce the inflammation part of the cycle, allowing the skin to recover.

Moisturising emollients (lotions, creams, and ointments) restore softening oils to the skin, and rehydrate it. Ointments have a stronger protective barrier effect, so hydrocortisone ointment is more effective than hydrocortisone cream. The ointment can feel greasier and look shiny on the skin and so may be better used at night.

It is important to use frequent moisturising emollients alongside hydrocortisone and afterwards. This will reduce the number of flare-ups of eczema and reduce the overall need to use hydrocortisone.

How to use topical hydrocortisone for eczema

When using hydrocortisone cream or ointment, it is important to continue the routine of moisturising emollient use. Apply the emollient and wait at least 15 minutes before applying the hydrocortisone. Apply a thin amount of hydrocortisone cream or ointment using up to 2½ fingertip units for the whole face and neck area.

It should be used once or twice daily.

Eczema will often settle within a couple of days. If not, hydrocortisone can be continued for up to 5 days on the face or two weeks on other areas. If it hasn't improved after 7 days, or completely settled after 2 weeks, then consult your own GP or skin specialist.

Once settled, continue using moisturising emollient frequently to reduce the risk of a flare-up of the eczema.

Very occasionally a twice weekly application of hydrocortisone, either two days together or every 3 or 4 days, is needed long term to prevent flare-ups, but this should be discussed with your own GP or skin specialist.

Cautions and side effects

Sometimes there is mild stinging, irritation, or itch on application but this should settle within a few minutes.

Skin ointments and creams contain paraffin which is flammable. Clothing and bedding may absorb the products. They should be washed regularly to reduce fire risk. Keep away from naked flames.

Hydrocortisone 1% ointment contains wool fat (lanolin), which can cause skin reactions in a few people. If eczema worsens when using hydrocortisone, then stop the treatment and consult your GP or skin specialist.

There is a concern that overusing steroid on the skin can cause skin thinning and stretch marks. This is much more likely if taking steroid tablets or after a steroid injection, for conditions other than eczema. However, take care and don't exceed 5 days continuous use around the eyes and face as this is already thin delicate skin.

Steroid tablet use has been linked with development of cataracts and other problems in the eyes. This is extremely unlikely with infrequent, light use of skin preparations but if you develop any blurring of vision consult your GP.

Covering the skin after applying treatment, with bandages or gloves is not recommended as in theory it can lead to absorption into the body and more general side effects, including in extreme cases Cushing's syndrome. In reality this is extremely unlikely especially if using mild strength hydrocortisone.

Further information on side effects can be found in the manufacturer's patient leaflets.

When NOT to use hydrocortisone 1% cream or ointment

Do not use hydrocortisone 1% cream or ointment if:

  • You have not had a medical diagnosis of eczema.
  • There is acne, rosacea, or the inflamed skin is only around the mouth (perioral dermatitis).
  • There are signs of infected skin: pus, weeping, swollen, tender, throbbing, spreading redness.
  • You have active cold sores, herpes, shingles, or chickenpox.
  • On broken skin or near active leg ulcers.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Avoidance of all medicines is advised when pregnant or breastfeeding. However, it is probably fine to use small amounts of hydrocortisone 1% cream or ointment on skin during pregnancy, or when breastfeeding (but not on the breasts). Discuss first with your GP.

Dr Fox does not prescribe for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

See also Best use of medicines in pregnancy - Corticosteroids.

Patient Information Leaflet

Illustration of patient leaflet from medicine packet

The Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) is the leaflet included in the pack with a medicine and must be read before taking the medicine. It is written for patients and gives information about taking or using a medicine.

Hydrocortisone cream patient leaflet
Hydrocortisone ointment patient leaflet

Dr Amanda Wood

Authored 14 July 2021 by Dr A. Wood
MB ChB Manchester University 1984. NHS GP in Bristol.

Reviewed by Dr C. Pugh, Dr B. Babor, Dr P. Hunt
Last reviewed 14 July 2021
Last updated 18 October 2021

References


The order process

Choose medication, register, and pay

Doctor issues prescription online

Pharmacy team post medication direct