Cons: small ½ oz tube, packaging makes it look like more, does not contain hydrocortisone
The Bottom Line: Go for the generic creams instead
I have had eczema my entire life and have tried experimenting over time with various anti-itch creams on the market. Since I have an HMO and must go through a visit with my PCP to get an approval to see the Dermatologist I end up buying over the counter creams most of the time. For years I have purchased the generic brand but on the spur of the moment a few months ago I reached instead for Cortaid Sensitive Skin ½% Hydrocortisone Acetate Anti-Itch Cream.
This active ingredient is the equivalent to hydrocortisone, but not the real thing. The inactive ingredients include aloe vera, purified water and mixed fatty acid esters, whatever that means! The cost for this tiny tube was $3.79. For twenty cents more I purchase the Rite Aid Brand and a buck more for Aveeno. At first I was deceived because I just noticed the price and thought I was getting a deal. Turns out when I opened the box at home this is half the size of the other products, but the box is about the same size and looks like it when on the shelf beside the other brands.
The aloe is soothing as they claim it will be, and it does relieve the itching but not the redness as fast. Of course this means you need to purchase more tubes to get a larger area under control. This is suited for those of us plagued with eczema as well as insect bites, seborrheic dermatitis, poison oak and ivy, itching due to cosmetics and jewelry rashes, detergents and soaps. I would suggest if thats the case to just change the brands you use of these items and watch the ingredients instead of having to endure rashes and break-outs.
This is marketed as specifically for sensitive skin, which I do have but other products work just as well, but this one does have the Dermatologist recommended seal. In fact my Dermatologist that I visited this past week stated again that the ointments work over the creams, so take the advice from your own professional first.
If you are a brave person you might consider this for external feminine and anal itching but the warnings mention not to use if you also have a vaginal discharge, oh how lovely. The cream should not be placed inside the rectum using fingers, applicator or a device. If you have problems in that area might I suggest the experts as in Preparation H. This cream is also not intended to be used on diaper rashes either, for that go with A D Ointment.
Cortaid Sensitive Skin ½% Hydrocortisone Acetate Anti-Itch Cream is to be stored at room temperature and protected from freezing. I learned a trick from a website this summer to place my anti-itch creams in the refrigerator. This worked so well with most of the brands as it soothed on contact. With this one though I would think the tube would get lost in there as well, plus there is so little product there would be nothing left!
On the side of the box is the expiration date, you might need a magnifying glass to see it but this seems to be good for several years. The date stamped states until the year 2007. The tube is white with blue logo and inside a blue box. You need to really squeeze to get the last remains of this out. If you simply want to purchase something to have on hand for any flare-ups that might occur in your household this would not be worth the money in the long run.
In all the years I have been seeing Dermatologist not one of them ever suggested to me to purchase the brand Cortaid. This can be used for children over the age of two, and can only be applied to affected area three to four times daily. After that you will have to purchase another tube. Poison Control should be noted in case of any accidental ingestion.
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