image001 Hydrocortisone, a corticosteroid, has been used to reduce itching and itching for over 50 years. Under a doctor’s supervision, using hydrocortisone for babies can be helpful in cases of eczema. While it is not usually harmful when used according to specific directions, there can be side-effects. Explore several natural remedies for eczema to help relieve the discomfort of eczema safely and naturally.

Can I Use Hydrocortisone on My Baby?

Whether or not it is safe to use hydrocortisone for babies has long been a controversial subject. Hydrocortisone is a steroid medication that is used to relieve inflammation, swelling and itchy skin. This medication has been used for over 50 years and is generally considered safe for older children and adults for conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, allergy rashes and skin conditions arising from autoimmune disorders. Other conditions include poison oak, poison ivy and bug bites.

Since hydrocortisone is a steroid medication that can “build-up” in the body, it needs to be used strictly according to the directions on the package under the care of a physician. Since this hormone can build-up on the blood, it is very important to not use more hydrocortisone than recommended, never use it more times a day than directed and for only the time period than your doctor recommends.

Here is a short video to tell you whether it is safe to use hydrocortisone for babies:

What Are the Benefits of Hydrocortisone for Babies?

For skin conditions such as eczema, hydrocortisone is put on the skin to help relieve inflammation. Hydrocortisone cream can be bought over-the-counter and used to help reduce the symptoms of eczema in around 80% of people who suffer from this condition. The available strength used is only 1% hydrocortisone and is generally safe for older children and adults. 2% hydrocortisone may be needed for more severe cases or people with thicker skin. Hydrocortisone normally takes about 2 to 3 days to bring relief to itching and scaly skin. Use of hydrocortisone should always be done under the supervision of a physician or even a dermatologist.

If you need higher strength for hydrocortisone, you will need a doctor’s prescription. Some people may even need to take steroid pills by mouth to help clear the flare up. This is only done in very severe cases and for short periods of time if creams do not work.

When the lower strengths are used for short periods of time, hydrocortisone is generally safe for babies. You can apply a thin coating only to the affected areas per your physician’s recommendations. It is important not to use hydrocortisone for babies in the diaper area as this causes excessive absorption into the body.

What Are the Side Effects of Hydrocortisone for Babies?

There are side-effects associated with hydrocortisone use and the risk is increased if it is not used according to package or physician directions. It is very important to consult your baby’s pediatrician before starting use of a hydrocortisone product.

1. Thinning of Skin

One of the side-effects is the thinning of skin. If you use too much or too high a strength, the skin can become thinner and at risk for tears. Using a lower strength over long periods of time can even thin the skin. You may even notice that stretch marks begin to appear. The tiny blood vessels under the skin can become swollen in the area.

2. Skin Infections

Since hydrocortisone reduces inflammation by lower the immune system response, it can put your baby at risk for skin infections. If too much is absorbed by the skin and into the bloodstream, there is also a higher risk of infections in the body.

3. Suppression of the Adrenal Glands

One very important risk to consider is that the long-term and overuse of any steroid medication is the suppression of the adrenal glands. Your adrenal glands produce important steroid hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. If your body gets too much hydrocortisone from outside the body, it may stop producing these hormones itself. The effects of this can be fatal, but not a concern if only small amounts are used over short periods of time.

Important Notes:

It is important that if hydrocortisone bought over-the-counter is not working, discontinue using it and consult your physician or dermatologist for further recommendations. Never increase the use or dosage without a physician’s knowledge and advice.

There are many effective natural home remedies that have little or no side-effects and safe for use in babies. Many people opt for these options to reduce the risks of adverse effects.

Natural Remedies for Eczema in Babies




Sunshine is a good natural remedy for eczema. Taking your baby outside without sunscreen for a quick sunbath can help to lower inflammation levels in the skin. Make sure you only stay outside for only a few short minutes to avoid sunburn.

Cool cloths

Use soft cloths moistened with cool water on your baby’s inflamed skin areas. Leave in place for 5 to 10 minutes or even longer if your baby will hold still.

Oatmeal or baking soda

Try putting a small sprinkle of oatmeal, colloidal oatmeal or baking soda in your baby’s bath water. These are safe for the skin and work very well for eczema naturally.

Chamomile or calendula

If your doctor gives you permission, try a lotion containing chamomile or calendula. These can soothe irritated skin. You can also use a lotion that has a high amount of water in the formula to help increase moisture to the skin.

Layer clothing

Heat and sweating can make eczema worse. Make sure you dress your baby in light clothing or layers if they start to get too warm.


There are studies being done to see if probiotics in the form of powder or added to baby formula bring relief to eczema in babies. The live bacteria may help provide a good natural balance to baby’s skin. Check with your baby’s doctor before giving probiotic supplements.