Fluocinonide ointment is a generic corticosteroid that may be prescribed for several skin conditions, such as different types of rashes, eczema, and dermatitis. This is a 0.05 percent concentration of fluocinonide intended for topical application to the skin. Patients may gain relief of symptoms like crusting, scaling, and dry skin, as well as itching, swelling, and redness.
Certain precautions should be taken before using fluocinonide ointment. It is not intended for application to an area of skin that has a current infection or a sore, or to skin that is abraded or otherwise broken. The medication should be used with extreme caution in children, because they may be more susceptible to side effects. It may also affect their rate of growth. Patients using this ointment for a prolonged period of time may be asked to undergo laboratory tests, such as adrenal gland function tests, to monitor possible side effects.
Patients should wash their hands and cleanse the area of skin to be treated. A small amount of ointment should be applied to the skin and distributed in a thin layer. The patient may be instructed to apply it two to four times daily, and should avoid covering the area with a bandage or tight-fitting clothing. Fluocinonide ointment is not intended for application to the underarms, face, or groin.
Some side effects may occur with the use of fluocinonide ointment, which should be reported to the physician if they become bothersome. The area of treated skin may develop irritation, itching, or dryness. It may also burn or sting. These side effects should resolve after the first few days of using the medication.
It is uncommon for fluocinonide ointment to pass into the bloodstream through the skin; however, patients should be aware of the possible symptoms of this complication. These may include weight loss, swollen feet and ankles, and vision problems. Increased urination and thirst, headaches, and excessive fatigue have also been reported. Other serious side effects that may occur rarely with the use of fluocinonide ointment include unusual hair growth, skin thinning, and a skin infection indicated by pus discharge and worsening redness or swelling.
Before using fluocinonide ointment, patients must disclose their other medical conditions, medications, and supplements. Women who are pregnant should avoid its use whenever possible. As of 2011, it is unknown whether this ointment may pass into breast milk when applied to the skin. This drug may be contraindicated for use by those who have poor circulation, a suppressed immune system, or those who have allergies to certain medications.