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What is Hydrocortisone Butyrate?

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  • Written By: Allison Boelcke
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 15 November 2016
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Hydrocortisone butyrate is a prescription medication that is primarily used to relieve inflammation. It is a corticosteroid, a synthetic version of a naturally occurring hormone in the body that aids the body’s immune system and helps prevent allergic reactions and inflammation. The medication helps reduce itching and may be used to treat a variety of skin conditions.

One of the most common uses of hydrocortisone butyrate is for the treatment of contact dermatitis, a condition that occurs when an irritating substance has direct contact with the skin and causes redness and itching at the area of contact. Examples of irritating substances that can cause this condition include cosmetics, fragrances, metals, and artificial dyes. The medication may also treat skin conditions that cause chronic itching, such as psoriasis, eczema, rashes associated with allergies, and even dandruff. It may be able to soothe the dry skin cells that contribute to itching and prevent new rashes or dry skin cells from forming.

Since hydrocortisone butyrate is mainly used to treat the itching associated with skin conditions, it is applied topically in order to penetrate the affected area as much as possible. The medication comes in the form of a cream that is spread over the skin in a thin layer. Doctors generally recommend that the cream be applied to the skin two times a day for up to two weeks.

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Hydrocortisone butyrate can have some possible side effects. In rare cases, when applied on children’s skin, the medication may affect the rate at which a child grows; however, if this reduced growth rate occurs, it usually does not permanently affect the child’s height when he or she becomes an adult. The medication may also result in excessive hair growth, stretch marks, and acne, but these side effects are not common. If the medication is applied to large areas of the skin, a person may be at a higher risk of the body absorbing too much of the corticosteroid and causing changes in weight, blurred vision, decreases in energy levels, and headache.

People who experience any side effects of the medication are usually recommended to seek medical attention in order to prevent further complications, but they are not often considered fatal. If a person is allergic to hydrocortisone butyrate, he or she is at an increased risk of death if he or she does not visit a doctor as soon as possible after noticing symptoms. Symptoms of an allergic reaction to the medication include difficulty breathing, a newly formed rash where the cream was applied, and swelling of the face or tongue.

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