Topical Fluocinonide for Dermatological Conditions

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When you are plagued by the intense itching of a skin rash, you may feel desperate for relief. But with so many over-the-counter and prescription creams, how do you choose the right one?

One topical cream that may work well is Lidex (fluocinonide) is an effective treatment for various allergic skin conditions. Lidex 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 percent strength. Fluocinonide is generally a very inexpensive topical steroid and therefore is commonly prescribed by physicians for allergic skin rashes.

Another brand name version of fluocinonide is Vanos (which is a more potent 0.1 percent strength).

How Does Lidex Work?

Lidex is a strong corticosteroid that reduces the swelling, itching, and redness that can occur in various dermatologic conditions. When you first begin to use it, Lidex can cause burning, additional itching, irritation, or dryness but these symptoms usually wane over a few days as you continue to use it. If any of the following side effects occur, discuss them with your doctor:

  • Blistering of the skin
  • Severe redness, inflammation, or soreness of the skin
  • Easy bruising of thinning of the skin

If any of the following more serious side effects occur, call your doctor right away:

  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Muscle aches
  • Fatigue or weakness

How Is Lidex Used?

Often, Lidex is prescribed to be applied to the affected skin areas two to three times a day for up to two weeks at a time. The exact dose and instructions, however, will be different for different patients. For example, some doctors may recommend bandaging the area where Lidex was applied and others may recommend against this.

 It is important to follow your doctor's directions for using Lidex carefully. You should never use it more frequently or for a longer time than prescribed in order to avoid risking side effects or skin irritation.

Longer use of Lidex, 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. If Lidex comes into contact with the eyes, nose, mouth, or vagina or any areas of skin that have abrasions or burns, it should be washed off right away.

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