British Society of Cutaneous Allergy (BCSA)

Tixocortol pivalate (hydrocortisone)

What are the aims of this patient information leaflet?

This leaflet has been written to help you understand more about your contact allergy. It tells you what a contact allergy is, what causes this allergy and what you can do about it.

What is contact allergy?

Dermatitis, also known as eczema, describes a type of inflammation of the skin. Contact dermatitis or contact eczema is a term used when this inflammation is caused by direct or indirect skin contact with something in your environment. Allergic contact dermatitis occurs when your immune system causes allergy to a very specific chemical or substance that has been in contact with the skin.

What causes your specific allergy?

Your patch tests indicate that you have a contact allergy to hydrocortisone.

What is hydrocortisone?

Hydrocortisone is a steroid used in the treatment of many skin conditions including eczema and dermatitis.

What are some products that contain hydrocortisone?

  • Alphaderm
  • Dermacort
  • Hc45
  • Dioderm
  • Efcortelan
  • Mildison
  • Calmurid HC
  • Hydromol HC intensive
  • Canesten HC
  • Daktacort
  • Terra-Cortril
  • Fucidin H
  • Nystaform-HC
  • Timodine
  • Vioform-Hydrocortisone
  • Eurax-Hc.

Other preparations that contain hydrocortisone:

  • Colifoam
  • Anugesic-HC
  • Perinal
  • Proctofoam HC
  • Uniroid-HC
  • Xyloproct
  • Proctosedyl
  • Anusol HC
  • Hydrocortisone buccal tablets
  • Hydrocortistab.

Hydrocortisone is also found in some haemorrhoid treatments, ear, eye and nose drops and enemas. Some hydrocortisone products may be purchased without a prescription.

Remember, always check the label, these lists can never be complete and ingredients change.

How can I manage my allergy?

This means that you should avoid putting products containing hydrocortisone onto your skin in the future.

A reaction to hydrocortisone, means that you may have an allergy to another steroid used to treat your skin. The steroid you are most likely to react to is hydrocortisone butyrate (Locoid), so this should be avoided too.

Important: If you become unwell, your doctor may wish to give you an injection of hydrocortisone. You should warn your doctors of your allergy as it may cause a widespread skin rash. Suitable alternatives are betamethasone or dexamethasone.

Self-care (what can I do?)

Always check the ingredient listing on the product, package or package insert as these lists can never be complete and ingredients change. This is particularly important for any products purchased outside the EU where some allergens may not be banned.

Created: 2016