Triamcinolone and hydrocortisone are topical corticosteroids. This means that they are used to treat various conditions on the skin. These two medicines are used to help in relieving itchiness and irritation on the skin. They are also used to relieve skin inflammation and redness. The itchiness, redness and inflammation can be caused by a lot of conditions such as eczema, psoriasis as well as allergic reactions. 

These two products come under different brands and they are not the same. In order to understand the difference between each of these products, we will look at each product differently, its details as well as the pros and the cons. 

What is Triamcinolone Acetonide?

Triamcinolone acetonide. This is a prescribed topical corticosteroid. Triamcinolone also comes in different strengths. It can also be found under the generic name as well as a brand name.  This is very helpful in relieving skin inflammation and itchiness. It is also used to deal with dryness and skin redness. The triamcinolone comes under brands like Kenalog, cinolar, Trianex, Oralone, Triderm and pediaderm TA.

How to use Triamcinolone?

The triamcinolone acetonide cream comes in strengths of 0.1%. It is available in tubes of 15g, 20g and 80g. it can be applied up to 4 times a day. The number of times that you apply the cream in a day will depend on how the doctor prescribed it. After applying the cream to the affected area, you should not cover it with a bandage or a cloth. 

You also need to take note that this drug can interact with other topical drugs. So, telling your doctor about other conditions may be helpful. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding you also need to consult the doctor before using triamcinolone acetonide cream because it is not recommended.

Who should use Triamcinolone Acetonide Cream?

When it comes to using it on children consulting the doctor is very important. The cream may not be suitable for all people therefore talking to your doctor before starting medication is essential. You need to talk to your doctor about allergic reactions and if you have an infection. 

Side effects of Triamcinolone

Using triamcinolone can also cause some side effects. Some of the most common side effects are skin redness, itchiness, acne, stretch marks, burning, irritation, peeling, dryness, skin thinning and blisters on the skin. There are also some side effects that may indicate serious conditions, such effects include blurry vision, changes in mood, insomnia, uneven heartbeats, tiredness and weight gain.

After experience such side effects it is recommended that you consult a doctor about it.

What should I avoid when using Triamcinolone Acetonide Cream?

  • When the cream gets into the eyes you have to rinse immediately
  • The cream should not be used orally since it is a topical cream.
  • Be sure that you do not use the medicine when you are taking other medications because it may interact with the other medications.

What is Hydrocortisone?

This is a topical corticosteroid. This can be found over the counter. Its main use is to help in treating inflammation. Inflammation on the skin can be due to many factors like eczema, psoriasis, allergic reactions, heat rash, stings and insect bites. The hydrocortisone cream does not treat infections on the skin. The cream can also be used for many other purposes.

Hydrocortisone comes under brands such as Dermalest, Cortaid, U-cort, Hycort, ScalaCort, Westcort, NuZon, Locoid, Instacort, pandel, Gly-Cort, Ala-cort, Beta HC and many other brands. Hydrocortisone can be also be bought from pharmacies. The strong hydrocortisone topical creams are prescribed by the doctor.  The other types of hydrocortisone include table form, injectable form and foams. 

Effects of using Hydrocortisone

Using hydrocortisone also causes some side effects in other people. Some side effects are common whereas some side effects can be severe and for this, you may have to call your doctor. Some of the most common side effects caused by hydrocortisone include skin redness, itchy skin, burning, thinning, peeling, nausea, the appearance of stretch marks, blisters on the skin, dizziness, changes in the menstrual cycle, insomnia, heartburns, headaches and acne. If you experience serious side effects like blurred vision, uneven heartbeats, tiredness and puffing, it is important to consult your doctor. 

Who should use Hydrocortisone Cream?

The hydrocortisone cream can be used by adults as well as children. For children that are below the age of 10, it is important that you ask the doctor before using the cream. The hydrocortisone cream is not suitable for everyone. It is recommended that you talk to your doctor or the pharmacist before using the cream. For instance, if you have allergic reactions to some medicine or had an allergic reaction to hydrocortisone cream if you used it in the past. You should also talk to your doctor if you have an infection or you are in a condition like you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

The hydrocortisone cream comes in different strengths. The strengths can be from 0.1% to 2.5%. This cream can also be applied up to 4 times a day. How many times you apply the hydrocortisone will depend on how severe your condition is. Therefore, you should apply thinly to the affected area. Hydrocortisone is rarely affected by drugs that are taken orally. If you are in a condition where you are pregnant, you need to consult with your doctor first before using this product. you need to follow the instructions on the prescription. 

How to use Hydrocortisone?

The directions on how to use it are prescribed by the doctor or on the label. In order to use it ensure that your hand’s are is washed before you use the cream, you should also wash your hands after using the cream. Then apply a suitable amount of the hydrocortisone to the affected area. Gently rub the cream into the skin. The medicine should not be used on the face or eyes unless you have consulted the doctor. The cream should also be stored are at room temperature and in a place where there is no heat.

You should not apply too much or less because this may lead to certain problems on the skin. For instance, using this topical for too long may cause your skin to become thinner, it may also cause changes in the body like increasing acne and facial hair.

What should I avoid when using Hydrocortisone?

Hydrocortisone is a topical medicine therefore it is used on the skin and cannot be taken orally.

When applying the hydrocortisone make sure that it does not get into the eyes and if this happens make sure to rinse it with water.

You should take note of the products you are using. Do not use products that irritate your skin. Such products may include shampoos, hair dye, harsh soaps or products that contain alcohol or fragrances. 

Since this medicine is used on the skin, it is rarely affected by other drugs. Interaction with other drugs may still occur. Therefore, it is important that you tell your doctor or pharmacists about other medicine that you are using.

Hydrocortisone cannot be used on the face. This is because using this cream on the face can worsen certain skin conditions such as acne, rosacea and many more. 

Comparison Triamcinolone Acetonide Cream vs Hydrocortisone

Hydrocortisone can be used for treating inflammation whereas triamcinolone is a topical corticosteroid that is used to relieve inflammation, burning, irritation and itchiness on the skin.

When it comes to administering these drugs, they are not administered in the same way. Therefore because of this these drugs are absorbed in a different way by the body and the way they interact with other drugs is different due to this factor.

When it comes to availability. Hydrocortisone is available in generic form whereas triamcinolone is available as a generic drug. These topical medications also come under different brands. 

Pros and Cons of Hydrocortisone 


  • It is used to treat itchy and irritated skin. 
  • Can be found in drugstores.
  • Does not cause a lot of side effects. 


  • The product may not work for every person.
  • It causes skin thinning after using it for prolonged period of time. 

Pros and Cons of Triamcinolone Acetonide Cream


  • It can be used to treat conditions that cause the skin to irritate. 
  • It is an affordable topical medicine.
  • It can be used by people in certain conditions like pregnant women as long as they consult the doctor. 
  • It comes in options: high potency as well as medium potency. 


  • It cannot be used for a long time because this may cause skin thinning.
  • Triamcinolone may cause your immune system to weaken. This may open more doors for other infections. Therefore, it is very important to avoid taking triamcinolone if you have an infection.
  • In some people, triamcinolone may cause allergic reactions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Triamcinolone Acetonide Cream a strong steroid cream?

Triamcinolone Acetonide Cream is a strong steroid cream that allows it to address skin-related issues quickly such as rashes, dermatitis, eczema etc. On average, it takes the cream anywhere between two to three weeks to completely rid the skin of the problem. However, never exceed the stated dose and always consult with a professional before using this steroid cream as your problem may not be as severe as it may seem and may be fixed by a normal cream such as E-45, Aveeno, Cetaphil or CeraVe.

What happens if you use Triamcinolone Acetonide Cream or Hydrocortisone for too long?

Using Triamcinolone Acetonide Cream and Hydrocortisone for too long may result in unwanted side effects such as unwanted facial hair, discolouration of the skin and hormonal changes in women. Both creams are topical steroids which means that they should be used according to their stated doses by a professional.

Can Triamcinolone Acetonide Cream and Hydrocortisone be applied to the face?

Triamcinolone Acetonide Cream and Hydrocortisone are strong steroid creams and should only be used under the supervision of a professional. Depending on your skin-related problem, a professional may advise you to apply the cream to your face but be cautious as the skin on the face is thin and can present unwanted changed such as pigmentation changes. This is why only the lowest potency of Triamcinolone Acetonide Cream and Hydrocortisone should be used and for some people, it may not be an option altogether due to the sensitivity of their skin. If you experience dry skin on your face, a professional may advise Cetaphil or CeraVe as they are mild and have little to no side effects.


Triamcinolone acetonide cream and hydrocortisone are topical steroids. Triamcinolone can be used to treat certain skin conditions while hydrocortisone can be used to relieve inflammation caused by certain skin conditions on the skin. These two are different in the way they work as well as the way they are administered by a professional such as a doctor or dermatologist. Never buy them without the opinion of a professional!

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