*Last Updated: May 2024

The 5 Best Cortisone Creams [Ranked]

Are you suffering from mild inflammatory skin conditions (dermatitis) and looking for a safe method to alleviate them?

If yes, mild cortisone cream can do the trick for you.

This medication reduces the itching, swelling, and redness that often in conditions like eczema, dermatitis, rash, allergies, anal itching, etc (Source).

Probably the two biggest reasons behind the widespread use of cortisone cream are you can apply it to the affected area directly and have much fewer side effects than oral steroids.

If you can continue using the cream diligently (as the duration of treatment can be lengthy sometimes) while following your doctor’s instructions, you’re likely to observe a great result.


Comparing Them

SaleBestseller No. 1
Cortizone 10 Maximum Strength Intensive Moisture Anti-Itch Cream, 1% Hydrocortisone, 2 oz.
  • Contains: One (1) 2-oz. tube of Cortizone-10 Maximum Strength Intensive Moisture Anti-Itch Cream
Bestseller No. 2
Cortizone 10 Maximum Strength Anti-Itch Cream with Soothing Aloe, 1% Hydrocortisone Creme, 2 oz.
  • Contains: One (1) 2-oz. tube of Cortizone 10 Maximum Strength Soothing Aloe Anti-Itch Cream
Bestseller No. 3
Amazon Basic Care Maximum Strength Anti-Itch Cream, Hydrocortisone 1 Percent Intensive Healing Formula, Itch Relief For Bug Bites, Eczema, Psoriasis, Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac, 1 ounce (Pack of 1)
  • ACTIVE INGREDIENT: The active ingredient in this anti-itch cream is hydrocortisone 1 percent; compare to the active ingredient in Cortizone 10 Intensive Healing Formula
SaleBestseller No. 4
Cortizone 10 Maximum Strength Intensive Healing Lotion for Eczema, 1% Hydrocortisone, 3.5 oz.
  • Contains: One (1) 3.5-oz. bottle of Cortizone-10 Maximum Strength Intensive Healing Lotion for Eczema
Bestseller No. 5
Cortizone 10 Maximum Strength Ultra Soothing Anti-Itch Cream, 1% Hydrocortisone Creme, 2 oz.
  • Contains: One (1) 2-oz. tube of Cortizone 10 Maximum Strength Ultra Soothing Anti-Itch Cream

Buying Guide

When it comes to popularity, cortisone cream is often the most preferred choice for consumers.

  • It can not only be used to treat a broader assortment of skin conditions but is also particularly useful in areas where there are heavy folds.
  • Although it’s usually weaker than ointments, its high rates of compliance and ease of use offer a good amount of advantages over other methods.
  • However, it’s important to note that this cream is available in strengths that vary from 0.1% to 2.5% and from a pharmacy you can only buy this product up to a maximum 1% strength without a prescription.
  • You’d need a prescription to buy cortisone cream with strengths of more than 1%.
  • Though this cream might be used on children, exercising caution is a must, especially when it comes to younger children. It’s strongly suggested to talk to your pediatrician before buying the product for using on toddlers or babies, whether to treat diaper rash or eczema. There might be alternative products which work just as well and are gentler.
  • Additionally, if you’re planning to buy this cream for treating any serious skin condition, it’s a must to talk to your doctor before doing so as sometimes it might make the condition worse.


More Details

Cortisone cream is a topical corticosteroid (Source) widely used to treat a broad range of skin conditions.

Corticosteroids are a type of steroid hormone associated closely with cortisol which is a hormone occurring naturally and produced in the adrenal gland.

Some of these conditions include itching, psoriasis of the scalp, contact dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis (Source), skin inflammation, itching of the anus, plaque psoriasis (Source), etc.

The strength and choice of cortisone cream largely depend on the specific skin condition.

Though cortisone cream is considered a very safe product, some people might get a stinging or burning feeling for a couple of minutes after putting it on their skin.

This generally stops happening after you’ve been using the product for a few days.

However, if you have got an existing skin infection, the application of cortisone cream can cause it to spread and make it worse.

Additionally, using the product for a prolonged period of time can create stretch marks that tend to fade over time usually.

Very rarely, the product can get through the skin into your bloodstream and trigger side effects in other parts of the body.

If you feel that something isn’t right during the period you’re using the cream, you should consult your doctor straight away.

Cortisone Cream & Acne

SaleBestseller No. 1
Neutrogena Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne Spot Treatment Gel with Maximum Strength 10% Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Treatment Medication, Pimple Cream for Acne Prone Skin Care, 1 oz
  • 1-ounce tube of Neutrogena Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne Spot Treatment Gel with maximum-strength 10% benzoyl peroxide acne medication to help fight acne and prevent future breakouts for clearer looking skin

Though many typically associate using cortisone cream with itchy, dry skin, it can help you get good results in reducing irritation and redness.

Applying a moderate amount of the product can help you get rid of really red spots, making it a good solution for spots that appear before a special occasion or overnight.

However, you should never go overboard as using excessive amounts can make the acne worse, apart from triggering bleaching or other irritations.

Facial Use

While cortisone cream is frequently used to treat inflammation, you shouldn’t apply it to the delicate skin of your face.

Long-term use of the product may damage the skin, which would be noticeable on the face, in particular.

Some common skin problems, which affect the face may be made worse by using the product, include rosacea, impetigo, etc.

If you’re experiencing a skin condition affecting your face, you should talk to your doctor first instead of treating it using the cream yourself.

Your doctor may prescribe cortisone cream for use on the face, after having assessed whether it’s a proper treatment and won’t be unsafe for you to use.

Additionally, you should never apply over-the-counter cortisone preparations on the face, unless they’re prescribed by your doctor.

Cortisone-10 Cream

Bestseller No. 1
Cortizone 10 Maximum Strength Ultra Soothing Anti-Itch Cream, 1% Hydrocortisone Creme, 2 oz.
  • Contains: One (1) 2-oz. tube of Cortizone 10 Maximum Strength Ultra Soothing Anti-Itch Cream

First of all, before you start using this medication, you must tell your doctor about all of your drugs (OTC or prescription, natural products, etc) and health problems.

You’ve to make sure that it’s safe for you to use the cream. If you plan to use it in the diaper area, talk to your doctor first.

You should also exercise good care when putting it on a large part of your skin or where there’re open wounds.

Finally, you shouldn’t use cortisone-10 cream (or ointment and gel) for longer than you were advised by your doctor, even if the signs get better.

How To Apply It

Cortisone cream is typically used on the skin’s affected area from two to three times per day.

However, a prescription cream may be applied less frequently, as per the directions of your doctor.

First wash and dry the hands, as well as, the affected area.

Then apply a small amount of the cream to the affected area and rub in gently.

Continue smoothing it into the skin until it disappears.

In the case of infants, if you use it in or near the diaper area, don’t use plastic pants or tight-fitting diapers.

For children and babies, the right amount of the product depends on their age and thus, your doctor should be the best person to advise you on this.

After applying the cream, thoroughly wash your hands, unless they’re being treated.

Use the product on all the irritated skin but be careful not to get it into cuts or broken skin.

The duration of treatment can be anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks until the itchiness and rashes have been resolved.

Pregnancy Considerations

The instances of suffering from dermatitis or eczema together with rashes, redness, and swelling of the skin are high in pregnancy.

As a result, pregnant women might be tempted to use the product if they experience any skin problem.

However, cortisone cream should only be used after consulting with a doctor.

Sometimes, a doctor may suggest this cream to a pregnant woman, after having assessed her pregnancy’s condition and the body part where it needs to be used.

Although this cream is an over-the-counter medicine (Source), it doesn’t mean that a pregnant woman can use it on her breasts and tummy without consulting the doctor.

So, if you’ve any skin problem during pregnancy, always let your doctor examine the skin condition and recommend a remedy accordingly.

Your doctor may suggest a better alternative to the product.

Additionally, during pregnancy, you should always try out natural alternatives to fight itching and choose the product only when they don’t offer a considerable effect and that too after consulting your doctor.

If you’re breastfeeding, your doctor may suggest you use mild cortisone cream but you’d also need to exercise good precaution like completely washing off the cream you put on the breasts before feeding the baby.

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