What Are the Most Common Uses for Hydrocortisone Valerate?

Ann Olson

Hydrocortisone valerate is most commonly used to relieve dry skin and itchy skin rashes. People who suffer from eczema and dermatitis, two skin conditions involving excessive dryness and inflammation, are often some of the biggest consumers of the compound, which is normally sold as an over-the-counter ointment. It is thicker than most lotions and creams and also provides a mild steroid that can dull pain and temporarily relieve itching and irritation. The ointment is also frequently used for temporary relief from insect bites, allergic reactions, and sunburn, though in most cases the product should not be used on broken or open skin, and never for bites, burns, or reactions that seem severe. In these cases the hydrocortisone might act to mask more serious symptoms and can hinder a proper diagnosis. Similarly, the cream isn’t usually recommended for viral infections or skin issues that are long-lasting or more serious in nature. It is important to realize that the ointment can be an effective means of relief, but it isn’t usually itself a cure for any condition.

Hydrocortisone valerate cream.
Hydrocortisone valerate cream.

Understanding the Ointment Generally

Skin inflammation can happen for a number of different reasons, but it’s almost always uncomfortable and people are often on the lookout for quick relief as a consequence. Hydrocortisone valerte is a popular option in many places. It’s a medicated cream that is often available in pharmacies and chemists, though certain stronger preparations may require a prescription. Most of this depends on how much active steroid is present in the cream, and how harmful the product could be if misused or overused.

Irritation from insect bites or poison ivy may be treated with hydrocortisone.
Irritation from insect bites or poison ivy may be treated with hydrocortisone.

It normally works by delivering moisture and a synthetic steroid to the surface of the skin, which in most cases is quickly absorbed. This makes it both highly moisturizing and almost immediately effective when it comes to relieving itching and general skin discomfort.

Hydrocortisone valerate can be used to treat skin conditions.
Hydrocortisone valerate can be used to treat skin conditions.

As an Eczema Treatment

When applied regularly, this ointment could help reduce, but not eliminate, the appearance of eczema. Eczema is a skin condition that can cause scaly, inflamed rashes to appear on the face and body. While hydrocortisone valerate is not the main medication used to treat this condition, it can help by reducing how inflamed these rashes look. Normally the affected areas of the skin can look red or brown, but this medication helps lessen the redness, reduces the inflammation, and sometimes helps stop the itching that is so often a symptom.

Dermatitis Relief

This medication can also benefit cases of dermatitis, a condition characterized by red, itchy skin inflammation. Hydrocortisone valerate can be applied to any area of the body where these rashes occur, and may help relieve itching. This can prevent people from scratching the affected areas too much, which can reduce damage to the skin. People who persistently scratch their rashes might introduce bacteria, which can increase the risk for an infection.

Minor Skin Irritants

Conditions that can cause inflamed rashes, such as insect bites or poison ivy, can also be treated with an application of this medication. There are some limitations, however. The cream should not be used near the eyes. It cannot be used on rashes that are near the mouth, nose, or genitals either. It is only intended for external use and cannot treat internal infections or irritations.

Viral Conditions and More Serious Ailments

Most health experts discourage the use of this cream on rashes caused specifically by viruses or infections, although many people use it for these purposes. Many people use hydrocortisone valerate specifically for chicken pox, a viral illness that causes the body to break into rashes or blisters filled with fluid. The key here is to treat the virus, otherwise the blisters will not go away; applying this cream is unlikely to reduce the presence of blisters, and in some cases can actually make them worse.

Hydrocortisone valerate can be used to treat itchy, inflamed rashes.
Hydrocortisone valerate can be used to treat itchy, inflamed rashes.

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