Can Hydrocortisone Be Used on the Face?

can-hydrocortisone-used-face Credit: whitebuffalobk/CC-BY-2.0

According to the United Kingdom's National Health Service, hydrocortisone may be used on the face in low concentrations and with caution. Hydrocortisone is a type of steroid found in a formulation designed for topical use.

Over-the-counter preparations are low in concentration, usually 1 percent or less. Over-the-counter hydrocortisone is used to treat minor skin conditions, such as dermatitis, reactions to insect bites, detergents, cosmetics or other substances, mild eczema and psoriasis.

Low-strength hydrocortisone may be used on the face with certain precautions:

  • Should not be used if the patient is pregnant.
  • Should not be used around the eyes.
  • Should not be used longer than seven days.
  • Should be used very sparingly as a thin film.
  • Some other skin conditions, such as acne, may be worsened by the use of hydrocortisone.

At higher concentrations, it should not be used for the skin of the face. Facial skin is thin and delicate and use of high-strength steroids or during a long term can damage the skin.