Fluocinolone acetonide is a type of medication that is used to treat various skin conditions. It belongs to a class of drugs known as corticosteroids. Corticosteroids are hormones that are produced naturally in the body. They help to reduce inflammation and swelling.
What is Fluocinolone acetonide used for?
Fluocinolone acetonide is used to treat a variety of skin conditions. These include atopic dermatitis (eczema), contact dermatitis, psoriasis, and seborrheic dermatitis. Fluocinolone acetonide is available in both over-the-counter and prescription forms. It is typically used as a cream, ointment, or solution that is applied to the affected area of skin.
Fluocinolone acetonide brand names
Fluocinolone acetonide is the generic name for the drug. The brand names of this drug are the following:
Capex, Derma-SmootheFS, Synalar
Fluoderm Mild Cream, Fluoderm Mild Ointment, Fluoderm Regular Cream, Fluoderm Regular Ointment, Fluolar Mild, Fluolar Regular, Fluonide Mild-Cream, Synalar Mild, Synalar Regular, Synamol
Which body parts should be avoided when using Fluocinolone acetonide?
Use this medication on the skin only. However, do not use it on the face, groin, or underarms unless directed to do so by your doctor.
When applying this medication near the eyes, avoid getting it in the eyes because this may worsen or cause glaucoma. Also, avoid getting this medication in the nose or mouth. If you get the medication in these areas, rinse with plenty of water. Use this medication only for the condition for which it was prescribed. Do not use it for longer than prescribed.
How long does Fluocinolone acetonide stay in your system?
The amount of time that Fluocinolone acetonide stays in your system is dependent on the duration of use of the medicine. Some research suggests that suppression of cortisol levels is still apparent 96 hours after topical use of corticosteroid creams, which implies that Fluocinolone acetonide can stay in your system for long periods of time, possibly for up to a few weeks. Fluocinolone acetonide is not recommended for long term use. More research is required about the half-life of Fluocinolone acetonide and how long it stays in your system.
According to the NHS, for people who use Fluocinolone acetonide for extended periods of time (more than 12 months in adults), a withdrawal reaction may occur which can include:
- redness or changes in skin color (hyperpigmentation)
- burning, stinging, itching or peeling of the skin, or oozing, open sores
What are the side effects of Fluocinolone acetonide?
According to Mayo Clinic, use of fluocinolone acetonide may have some side effects. Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- Body aches or pain
- dryness or soreness of the throat
- lightening of normal skin color
- lightening of treated areas of dark skin
- sore throat
- stuffy or runny nose
- tender, swollen glands in the neck
- trouble swallowing
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- voice changes
- Acne or pimples
- accumulation of pus
- blistering, crusting, irritation, itching, or reddening of the skin
- burning, itching, and pain in hairy areas, or pus at the root of the hair
- burning and itching of the skin with pinhead-sized red blisters
- change in hearing
- cracked, dry, scaly skin
- dry skin
- earache or pain in the ear
- ear drainage
- flushing or redness of the skin
- darkening of the skin
- itching, scaling, severe redness, soreness, or swelling of the skin
- itchy, raised, round, smooth, skin-colored bumps found on just one area of the body
- ooze thick white fluid
- raised, dark red, wart-like spots on skin, especially when used on the face
- redness or swelling in the ear
- skin irritation
- skin rash, encrusted, scaly and oozing
- spots on your skin resembling a blister or pimple
- swollen, red, tender area of infection
- thickened patches of the skin
Incidence not known
- Redness and scaling around the mouth
- thinning, weakness, or wasting away of the skin
Why does my skin burn when I apply Fluocinolone acetonide to my skin?
If your skin burns after applying Fluocinolone acetonide to your skin, you may have an allergic reaction to the steroid cream and your skin cannot tolerate it. Fluocinolone acetonide also contains cetostearyl alcohol which may cause acute allergic reactions.
How do I taper down from using Fluocinolone acetonide?
To taper down from using Fluocinolone acetonide many doctors advise adjusting to using a weaker steroid cream over an extended period of time. This is commonly known as climbing down the topical steroid ladder.
Which steroid creams are weaker than Fluocinolone acetonide?
Fluocinolone acetonide is a medium-strength topical steroid. Weaker topical steroids under the said drug are the following:
- Hydrocortisone valerate
- Triamcinolone acetonide
- Betamethasone valerate 0.1%
- Clocortolone pivalate
- Hydrocortisone butyrate
- Hydrocortisone probutate
- Hydrocortisone valerate 0.2%
- Alclometasone dipropionate
- Desonide 0.05%
- Hydrocortisone 0.5% – 2.5%
Which steroid creams are stronger than Fluocinolone acetonide?
Since fluocinolone acetonide is a medium-strength topical steroid, there are stronger topical steroid creams available according to the Topical Steroid Potency Strength Chart. Here are the following:
- Augmented betamethasone dipropionate
- Clobetasol propionate
- Augmented diflorasone diacetate
- Diflorasone diacetate
- Flurandrenolide 4 mcg/cm2
- Halobetasol propionate
- Betamethasone dipropionate
- Mometasone furoate
- Fluticasone propionate
- Triamcinolone acetonide 0.5%
- Betamethasone valerate
What happens when you use Fluocinolone acetonide too often?
If you use Fluocinolone acetonide too frequently or for an extended period of time, tolerance or tachyphylaxis to that potency level of steroid cream may develop. Fluocinolone acetonide is not recommended for extended use which may result in some of the common side effects listed above. Consult with your doctor if you have concerns.
Does Fluocinolone acetonide cause topical steroid withdrawal?
More research is required to understand the complexity of Topical Steroid Withdrawal and its specific connection to Fluocinolone acetonide. Fluocinolone acetonide is a highly potent corticosteroid commonly used for skin conditions and the side effects of discontinuing the use of this topical steroid medicine is yet to be studied.
Throughout online groups and communities, there are serious concerns, accounts, discussions and images about corticosteroid creams (not just Fluocinolone acetonide) causing Topical Steroid Withdrawal. The accounts and experiences of the Topical Steroid Withdrawal community continues to grow and has gathered media wide attention for the aesthetic physical severity of many suffering.
Topical Steroid Withdrawal is an iatrogenic health phenomena that requires more research and studies. The International Topical Steroid Awareness Network (ITSAN) is currently building a patient registry to begin preliminary studies.
Is there treatment for Topical Steroid Withdrawal?
Currently, there is no global protocol or medical treatment for topical steroid withdrawal. At TSW Assist, we are identifying crowd sourced insights of products, routines, and therapies that can help manage the inflammation and symptoms during the withdrawal period from topical steroids. Currently, there is no quick cure for Topical Steroid Withdrawal.
Through the community, we are finding insights of the management of the symptoms of TSW, through the tracking of the efficacy of specific products, methods and therapies.
Disclaimer: The information on this website is not medical advice. There is no known medical cure for topical steroid withdrawal, but there are collective methods to manage the symptom and inflammation during the withdrawal period. It should not be mistaken that all usage of steroid creams will cause topical steroid withdrawal. More clinical research is required to understand the cause of Topical Steroid Withdrawal within an individual.