Side Effects of Hydrocortisone butyrate

Hydrocortisone butyrate is a type of medication belonging under corticosteroids. A corticosteroid is a type of steroid hormone that is produced by the adrenal gland. Corticosteroids are involved in a variety of body processes, including the stress response, immune system function, and inflammation.


What is Hydrocortisone butyrate used for?

Hydrocortisone butyrate is a topical corticosteroid medication. It is used to treat various skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis. Hydrocortisone butyrate works by reducing inflammation and itchiness.


Hydrocortisone butyrate brand names

Hydrocortisone butyrate is a generic name. The brand names used for this drug are the following:


United States:

  • Locoid, Locoid Lipocream



  • Barriere-Hc
  • Cortate
  • Cort-Eze
  • Cortoderm Mild Ointment
  • Cortoderm Regular Ointment
  • Emo-Cort
  • Emo-Cort Scalp Solution
  • Hydrocortisone Cream
  • Novo-Hydrocort
  • Novo-Hydrocort Cream
  • Prevex Hc
  • Sarna Hc


Which body parts should be avoided when using Hydrocortisone butyrate?

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. After applying the medication, wash your hands unless you are using this medication to treat the hands. 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.


How long does Hydrocortisone butyrate stay in your system?

The amount of time that Hydrocortisone butyrate 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 Hydrocortisone butyrate can stay in your system for long periods of time, possibly for up to a few weeks. Hydrocortisone butyrate is not recommended for long term use. More research is required about the half-life of Hydrocortisone butyrate and how long it stays in your system.

According to the NHS, for people who use Hydrocortisone butyrate 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 Hydrocortisone butyrate?

According to Mayo Clinic, the use of hydrocortisone butyrate may or may not cause side effects. Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:


Less common

  • Burning sensation of the skin
  • itching skin
  • scaly rash
  • skin irritation


Incidence not known

  • Backache
  • blistering, burning, crusting, dryness, or flaking of the skin
  • burning, itching, and pain in the hairy areas, pus at the root of the hair
  • burning and itching of the skin with pinhead-sized red blisters
  • darkening of the skin
  • blurred vision
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • dry mouth
  • facial hair growth in females
  • fainting
  • fractures
  • fruit-like breath odor
  • full or round face, neck, or trunk
  • increased hunger or thirst
  • increase urination
  • increased hair growth on the forehead, back, arms, and legs
  • irritability
  • lightening of the normal skin color
  • lightening of treated areas of the dark skin
  • loss of appetite
  • loss of sexual desire or ability
  • menstrual irregularities
  • mental depression
  • muscle wasting
  • nausea
  • reddish purple lines on the arms, face, legs, trunk, or groin
  • redness and scaling around the mouth
  • severe redness, soreness, or swelling of the skin
  • softening of the skin
  • stomach pain
  • sweating
  • thinning of the skin with easy bruising, especially when used on the face or where the skin folds together (eg, between the fingers)
  • thinning, weakness, or wasting away of the skin
  • trouble breathing
  • unexplained weight loss
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vomiting


Why does my skin burn when I apply Hydrocortisone butyrate to my skin?

If your skin burns after applying Hydrocortisone butyrate to your skin, you may have an allergic reaction to the steroid cream and your skin cannot tolerate it. Hydrocortisone butyrate also contains cetostearyl alcohol which may cause acute allergic reactions.


How do I taper down from using Hydrocortisone butyrate?

To taper down from using Hydrocortisone butyrate 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 Hydrocortisone butyrate?

Hydrocortisone butyrate is a medium-strength topical steroid. Topical steroids that are weaker than hydrocortisone butyrate are listed below:

  • Hydrocortisone probutate
  • Hydrocortisone valerate 0.2%
  • Prednicarbate
  • Alclometasone dipropionate
  • Desonide 0.05%
  • Hydrocortisone 0.5% – 2.5%
  • Hydrocortisone


Which steroid creams are stronger than Hydrocortisone butyrate?

Since hydrocortisone butyrate is a medium-strength topical steroid, there are other topical steroids that are stronger and these are the following:

  • Augmented betamethasone dipropionate
  • Clobetasol propionate
  • Desoximetasone
  • Augmented diflorasone diacetate
  • Diflorasone diacetate
  • Fluocinonide
  • Flurandrenolide 4 mcg/cm2
  • Halobetasol propionate
  • Amcinonide
  • Betamethasone dipropionate
  • Desoximetasone
  • Halcinonide
  • Mometasone furoate
  • Fluticasone propionate
  • Triamcinolone acetonide 0.5%
  • Betamethasone valerate
  • Fluocinolone acetonide
  • Flurandrenolide
  • Hydrocortisone valerate
  • Triamcinolone acetonide
  • Betamethasone valerate 0.1%
  • Clocortolone pivalate


What happens when you use Hydrocortisone butyrate too often?

If you use Hydrocortisone butyrate too frequently or for an extended period of time, tolerance or tachyphylaxis to that potency level of steroid cream may develop. Hydrocortisone butyrate 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 Hydrocortisone butyrate cause topical steroid withdrawal?

More research is required to understand the complexity of Topical Steroid Withdrawal and its specific connection to Hydrocortisone butyrate. Hydrocortisone butyrate 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 Hydrocortisone butyrate) 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.

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