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Reviewed by Dr Roy Kedem, MD
Information last reviewed 10/13/20
Triamcinolone is a topical eczema cream containing corticosteroids. It reduces the inflammation associated with eczema and alleviates related symptoms.
Triamcinolone is used to treat various skin conditions, including eczema, allergic reactions, and joint inflammation.
Triamcinolone is a topical corticosteroid cream. It works by narrowing the blood vessels near the skin's surface, which reduces redness, itching and inflammation.
Triamcinolone should start to work within 3-7 days. If there is no improvement after seven days, you may need a more potent corticosteroid cream. Your doctor can give you a prescription for a stronger cream if required.
The active ingredient in Triamcinolone cream is triamcinolone acetonide.
Different brands of Triamcinolone cream may contain different inactive ingredients. Aristocort is a version of Triamcinolone cream manufactured by Sigma pharmaceutical company. It contains the following inactive ingredients: benzyl alcohol, soft white paraffin, emulsifying wax, isopropyl palmitate, glycerol, sorbitol solution, and lactic acid.
Triamcinolone does not contain any common allergens and rarely causes allergic reactions. However, it is possible for some people to experience an allergic reaction to ingredients contained in Triamcinolone medication. The symptoms include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness or trouble breathing. If you notice any of these symptoms when using the cream, please seek emergency medical attention.
Only use Triamcinolone cream when instructed to do so by a doctor. Triamcinolone cream should be used during eczema flare-ups and continued until a few days after the symptoms have resolved.
Your doctor will let you know how often you need to use Triamcinolone cream; typically, it is applied twice a day. You should apply a fingertip unit amount of cream (see below) to the affected area. Gently rub the cream into your skin until it has been absorbed. Wash your hands when you have finished applying the cream, unless your hands are the affected area.
A fingertip unit is a way to measure the amount of cream you need to use. You should squeeze cream out of the tube onto your fingertip, from the end of your finger to the first crease. One fingertip unit will cover an area of skin the size of both your palms.
Triamcinolone cream comes in several different strengths. Triamcinolone 0.5% is the strongest, 0.1% medium potency, and 0.025 % is the weakest.
Side effects of Triamcinolone Cream primarily affect the skin and may cause:
Please see the patient information leaflet for a full list of side effects.
According to the USP-NF, topical Triamcinolone does not have any contraindications. People with hypersensitivity or allergies to any of the ingredients in topical in Triamcinolone should avoid using it.
Triamcinolone should not be used with other corticosteroids or other medications that suppress the immune system, such as cyclosporine. Always let the prescribing doctor know about any medications, alternative treatments, or recreational drugs that you are taking.
A burning sensation is a common side effect of Triamcinolone cream and should subside after a few days when your body adjusts to the medication. If the burning persists after a few days, stop the medication and speak to your doctor.
Itching is a known side effect of topical Triamcinolone. Itching can occur in the area of the skin treated with Triamcinolone or around the mouth. The itching will subside when the body adjusts to the medication. If they do not resolve after the first few days of use or become bothersome, let your doctor know.
Triamcinolone is available in various concentrations (or potencies) including 0.025%, 0.1%, and 0.5%. Hydrocortisone is available in 0.1% and 0.2%. When compared in equal concentrations, Triamcinolone is a generally stronger corticosteroid medication than hydrocortisone and can therefore be effective at a lower concentration.
Triamcinolone and Hydrocortisone are not the same. Both Triamcinolone and hydrocortisone are corticosteroids and work in similar ways, but they are different medications.
The strength of a medication is known as its potency. The more potent a medication, the stronger they are. Corticosteroids, such as Triamcinolone, come in a range of different potencies. The table below shows different corticosteroid creams categorized by their potency, so you can find out which is stronger.
Triamcinolone is not used to kill scabies, but it may be prescribed alongside another treatment to alleviate the itching associated with scabies. An effective treatment for scabies is topical Permethrin 5%.
Triamcinolone is not recommended for the treatment of shingles. A viral infection causes shingles, therefore antiviral medications such as Famciclovir, Acyclovir, and Valacyclovir are recommended.
Poison oak is a form of contact dermatitis. Triamcinolone can therefore reduce the inflammation and blistering associated with poison oak.
Triamcinolone should not be used on cold sores which are caused by the herpes virus. The use of Triamcinolone may worsen the infection. Antivirals such as Acyclovir and Valacyclovir are usually prescribed instead. However, an oral version of Triamcinolone can be used for other types of mouth ulcers.
Hemorrhoids can often be treated by over the counter medication such as Preparation-H. If this is insufficient, your doctor may prescribe you a stronger treatment. Triamcinolone can be used to treat hemorrhoids, but you should only use it if recommended by your doctor.
Corticosteroid creams, such as Triamcinolone can treat insect bites that result in itching and/or a rash. However, you should consult your doctor before using any prescription medication for a purpose other than that which it was prescribed for. Triamcinolone is a potent steroid cream that comes with side effects if used unnecessarily. Other steroid creams can be used before escalating to Triamcinolone, such as 1% hydrocortisone cream.
Ringworm is a fungal infection of the skin and cannot be treated with Triamcinolone. Ketoconazole cream is used for fungal skin infections and can treat ringworm. Ketoconazole and Triamcinolone belong to different drug classes. Ketoconazole is an antifungal cream while Triamcinolone is a corticosteroid.
Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. You and your physician will determine if and how you should take any medication prescribed to you following a medical consultation.
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