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Is fluocinonide a good cream for skin itching?


Updated June 13, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Question: Is fluocinonide a good cream for skin itching?
Answer: Fluocinonide is an effective treatment for various allergic skin conditions, but should only be used for short periods of time. Fluocinonide is a high-potency topical steroid effective for the treatment of atopic dermatitis (eczema), contact dermatitis (including rashes caused by poison oak and ivy), xerotic dermatitis (dry skin), as well as for other causes of itching. It is available only by prescription, and comes in various forms, including lotions, creams, gels and ointments, in a 0.05% strength. Brand name versions of fluocinonide include Lidex and Vanos (which is a more potent 0.1% strength). Fluocinonide is generally a very inexpensive topical steroid, and therefore is commonly prescribed by physicians for allergic skin rashes.

Fluocinonide can be applied to the affected skin areas 2 to 3 times a day for up to 2 weeks at a time. Longer use of fluocinonide, especially over large areas of skin, may cause significant and irreversible side effects, and therefore isn’t recommended. Fluocinonide shouldn’t be used on the face, or on other areas of the body with thin skin, including the genital region. The use of fluocinonide for children isn’t recommended.

Learn more about the treatment of itchy skin.


Boguniewicz M, Leung DYM. Atopic Dermatitis. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2006; 117(2):S475-80.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this site is for educational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for personal care by a licensed physician. Please see your physician for diagnosis and treatment of any concerning symptoms or medical condition.

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