This medication is a combination product containing 2 medications: fusidic acid and hydrocortisone. It is used to treat mild to moderately severe atopic (allergic) dermatitis rashes that are infected by a particular bacteria (Staph. aureus).
What is Fucidin H cream used for?
- Fucidin H cream is used to treat infected eczema or dermatitis.
- It contains hydrocortisone 1% to reduce skin inflammation, together with an antibiotic called fusidic acid that treats bacterial infection.
How does Fucidin H cream work?
- Hydrocortisone is a type of medicine called a topical corticosteroid. It works by stopping skin cells releasing various inflammatory substances that make blood vessels widen and cause the skin to become red, swollen, itchy and painful. It reduces the swelling, redness and itching and so helps prevent scratching that can further irritate the skin.
- Fusidic acid is an antibiotic medicine used to treat infections with bacteria. It works by stopping bacteria from producing essential proteins. Without these proteins the bacteria cannot grow and increase in numbers. The remaining bacteria die or are destroyed by the immune system.
Key facts about Fucidin H
- Fucidin H cream contains a mild corticosteroid with an antibiotic.
- It is only available on prescription.
- Fucidin H is suitable for adults, children and babies.
- The most common side effects are skin irritation, itching or a burning sensation when you apply the cream.
- Fucidin H should be applied thinly twice a day (once a day if using dressings) to affected areas of skin only.
- You can use Fucidin H for up to two weeks, but see your doctor if the infection hasn't improved after seven days.
- Never use Fucidin H cream as a moisturiser.
Who should not use Fucidin H cream?
Fucidin H cream can be used by most people, including adults, elderly people, children and babies. However, if you're using it on a child, don't apply it to large areas of skin or underneath nappies unless your doctor tells you to.
Only use Fucidin H to treat the skin condition you have shown your doctor. Don't use it if you know you're allergic to any of it's ingredients and don't use it on areas of skin affected by:
- Bacterial skin infections that aren't associated with eczema or dermatitis, for example impetigo.
- Fungal skin infections such as athlete's foot, ringworm or candida skin infections.
- Viral skin infections, such as chickenpox, shingles, cold sores or herpes simplex.
- Lesions caused by tuberculosis or syphilis.
- Acne vulgaris (spots).
- Acne rosacea.
- A skin condition called perioral dermatitis, which is a red spotty rash around the mouth.
Can I use Fucidin H while pregnant or breastfeeding?
- Only if your doctor thinks it's essential.
- If your doctor says you can use Fucidin H cream while pregnant or breastfeeding you should not use it on large areas of skin, underneath airtight dressings, or for prolonged periods of time. This will minimise any absorption of the steroid. If you need to apply the cream to your breasts don't do this shortly before giving a feed. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for further information.
How do I use Fucidin H cream?
- Wash your hands before applying the cream.
- Fucidin H cream should be applied thinly to the affected areas of skin, as directed by your doctor. The cream is usually applied twice a day, morning and evening. See below for how much to use.
- Don't apply the cream to broken skin or the genitals and take care to avoid getting the cream in your eyes, nose or mouth. Rinse it off with water if you accidentally get the cream in these areas.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after applying Fucidin H, unless the hands are the area being treated.
- Only cover the treated area with dressings (this includes bandages, nappies and waterproof pants) if directed to by your doctor. If you use dressings you may only need to apply the cream once a day. Always follow your doctor's instructions.
- Use the cream as directed for up to two weeks. However, if the infection doesn't seem to be clearing up within seven days of treatment, or if it seems to be spreading or getting worse you should see your doctor.
- It's important that you don't use Fucidin H for longer than prescribed, or for treating future infections without consulting your doctor. This is because prolonged or repeated use of antibacterial medicines can cause the skin to become over-sensitive or allergic to the medicine and may also result in the bacteria becoming resistant to the antibiotic.
What are the side effects of Fucidin H cream?
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that may be associated with Fucidin H. Just because a side effect is stated here, doesn't mean that all people using this cream will experience that or any side effect.
Common side effects (affect between 1 in 10 and 1 in 100 people)
- Skin irritation, eg redness, rash, itching or burning sensation after applying the cream.
Uncommon side effects (affect between 1 in 100 and 1 in 1000 people)
- Allergic inflammation of the skin (contact dermatitis). Stop using Fucidin H and see your doctor if you think you've experienced a reaction or your skin condition appears to be getting worse.
- If Fucidin H is applied excessively, more than twice a day, for longer than two weeks, underneath dressings, to broken or raw skin, large areas of skin, or areas of skin that rub together, it has the potential to cause some of the side effects associated with topical steroids, such as skin thinning, stretch marks or hair growth, although these are still very rare with this mild steroid. You can read more about the possible side effects of topical corticosteroids here.
If you experience any changes in your vision while using Fucidin H, such as blurred vision, you should tell your doctor.
Read the leaflet that comes with the cream, or talk to your pharmacist or doctor if you want any more information about the possible side effects of Fucidin H cream.
Can I use Fucidin H with other medicines?
- Make sure your doctor or pharmacist know if you're already using any other medicines, particularly if you're already using any other corticosteroid medicines (including those bought without a prescription) before you start using Fucidin H.
- If you need to use other topical medicines on the same area of skin it's recommended that you leave several minutes between applying each product. This is to allow each product time to be absorbed and avoid them mixing on the skin.
- If you apply moisturisers shortly before or after applying Fucidin H they can dilute the medicine and potentially make it less effective. Try to apply your moisturisers at a different time of day, or at least 30 minutes before or after this one.