Crotamiton, hydrocortisone (Eurax HC cream)

How does it work?

Eurax Hc cream contains two active ingredients, hydrocortisone and crotamiton.

Hydrocortisone is a type of medicine called a topical corticosteroid.

Corticosteroids are medicines used for reducing inflammation. Inflammation of the skin happens as a result of allergy or irritation of the skin, and is caused by the release of various substances that are important in the immune system. These substances cause blood vessels to widen and result in the irritated area becoming red, swollen, itchy and painful, such as is seen in dermatitis or eczema.

When hydrocortisone is applied to the skin it works by acting inside the cells to decrease the release of these inflammatory substances. This reduces swelling, redness and itch.

Hydrocortisone is a mild corticosteroid that can be applied to the skin to treat a wide variety of inflammatory skin reactions, such as reactions to plants, insect bites, jewellery, toiletries, deodorants, soaps and detergents. It is also used to treat mild eczema.

Crotamiton is a medicine that is applied to the skin to relieve itching. It is not fully understood how it works.

The combination of hydrocortisone and crotamiton in this medicine is used to relieve itching and inflammation associated with skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis or insect bites.

What is it used for?

  • Mild to moderate eczema.
  • Irritant contact dermatitis.
  • Allergic contact dermatitis.
  • Reactions to insect bites and stings.

How do I use it?

  • Eurax Hc cream should be applied thinly and evenly to the affected area(s) twice a day for up to a week. Click here to see how much to use.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after applying this medicine, unless the hands are the area being treated.
  • Consult your doctor if your symptoms don't improve, or get worse in the first seven days of treatment. Do not use this medicine for longer than seven days without consulting your doctor.
  • Don't apply moisturisers to the same area of skin at the same time as this medicine. Try to leave at least 30 minutes between applying moisturisers and this medicine, as otherwise the moisturiser could dilute the corticosteroid and potentially make it less effective.

Warning!

  • This cream is for external use on the affected areas of skin only.
  • Avoid getting the cream in contact with the eyes, or the inside of the mouth or nose. Rinse with cold water if accidental contact occurs.
  • Do not use this cream as a moisturiser.
  • Do not apply this cream to the face, or to areas around the genitals or anus, unless instructed by your doctor.
  • You should not cover the area being treated with airtight dressings such as bandages or other dressings unless directed by a doctor, as these will enhance the absorption of the medicine into the body and may increase the risk of side effects.
  • If you think the area of skin you are treating has become infected you should stop using this medicine and consult your doctor.
  • If corticosteroids are used long-term, on large areas of skin, raw skin, skin folds, or under airtight dressings (including nappies) they are absorbed into the body more. This increases the risk of local side effects such as skin thinning, and those on other parts of the body, such as a decrease in the production of natural hormones by the adrenal glands. For this reason, continuous, long-term use of this medicine should be avoided wherever possible, particularly in children and on large areas of skin.

Not to be used in

  • Children under the age of 10 years, except on medical advice.
  • Broken skin or open wounds.
  • Areas of skin infected with viruses, such as chickenpox, shingles, cold sores or herpes simplex.
  • Areas of skin infected with bacteria, such as impetigo.
  • Areas of skin infected with fungi, such as thrush,ringworm, athlete's foot.
  • Acne.
  • Chronic inflammatory disorder of the facial skin (acne rosacea).
  • Inflammatory rash around the mouth (perioral dermatitis).
  • Areas of skin affected by psoriasis or seborrhoeic dermatitis, as these conditions require advice and care from a doctor.

This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.

If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.

  • This medicine should not be used during pregnancy unless prescribed by your doctor. If it is prescribed by your doctor it should not be used on large areas of skin, underneath airtight dressings, or for prolonged periods of time. Consult your doctor for further information.
  • This medicine should not be used during breastfeeding unless prescribed by your doctor. If it is prescribed by your doctor it should not be used on large areas of skin, underneath airtight dressings or for prolonged periods of time. If it is applied to the breasts it should be washed off carefully before breastfeeding and then reapplied afterwards.

Label warnings

  • This medication is to be spread thinly and sparingly on the skin.

Side effects

Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. Just because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect. The following side effects are known to be associated with this medicine.

  • Eurax Hc cream is generally well tolerated and side effects are rare when it is applied sparingly, no more than twice a day, for up to a week. If you experience any signs of allergic reactions to the cream, such as burning, itching or redness of the skin after applying it, you should stop using it and consult your doctor.
  • If hydrocortisone is applied excessively, more than twice a day, for longer than a week, underneath dressings, to broken or raw skin, large areas of skin, or areas of skin that rub together, it has the potential to cause some of the side effects associated with topical steroids, such as skin thinning. You can read about these here.

This list may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicines's manufacturer.

For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.

How can this medicine affect other medicines?

This medicine is not known to affect other medicines. However, as with all medicines, it is important to tell your pharmacist what medicines you are already using, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, before you start treatment with this medicine. Similarly, check with your doctor or pharmacist before using any new medicines while using this one, to make sure that the combination is safe.

If you are using other topical medicines or moisturisers on the same area of skin it is recommended that you leave several minutes between applying each product. This is to allow each product time to be absorbed and avoid them mixing on the skin.

If you apply moisturisers shortly before or after applying this medicine these can dilute the corticosteroid and potentially make it less effective. Try to apply your moisturisers at a different time of day, or at least 30 minutes before or after this one.

Other medicines containing the same active ingredients

There are currently no other medicines available in the UK that contain both hydrocortisone and crotamiton as the active ingredients. Eurax contains just crotamiton, and creams containing just hydrocortisone are widely available.