OTC Hydrocortisone Creams
A number of OTC hydrocortisone creams, including the following, are commonly used in the treatment of rectal and anal itch:
Cortizone-10 (hydrocortisone with aloe) is a topical corticosteroid cream designed to alleviate rectal itching, swelling, and redness within approximately one week's time. The cream is easy to apply and effective in small amounts. Possible side effects of Cortizone-10 include dry skin, peeling or cracked skin, and a rash. Rare but severe side effects include rectal bleeding, breathing difficulties, and swelling in the face.
Preparation H Anti-Itch Cream (hydrocortisone rectal) is commonly used to treat anal itching that develops as a result of hemorrhoids. Also available in ointment and suppository form, this topical anti-itch cream acts as an anti-inflammatory agent that relieves discomfort caused by itching and swelling in the rectal area. Preparation H may cause mild side effects such as acne, sweating, and body hair growth or more severe side effects such as muscle weakness, stomach pain, sudden weight gain, and seizures.
Cortaid (hydrocortisone topical) is applied directly to itchy skin around the rectum and is used to reduce inflammation and redness. The side effects associated with this steroid cream range from peeling, stretch marks, and blisters to more serious complications (irregular heartbeat, blurred vision, insomnia, weight gain, and fatigue).