Healthy Living

Is Lidex (Fluocinonide) Cream Really Effective in Treating Skin Infections?

Is Lidex (Fluocinonide) Cream Really Effective in Treating Skin Infections?

Lidex is a topical steroid cream with the generic name fluocinonide. Glucocorticoids are a type of steroid hormones that are generally involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. They are also known to have anti-inflammatory properties.

Lidex belongs to the class of drugs called as corticosteroids. These are a group of medications that work in a similar way and are often used to treat similar issues. Lidex is used to treat a variety of skin conditions such as eczema, allergies, rash, psoriasis. Corticosteroids work by reducing the production of certain chemicals in the body. These chemicals are called as prostaglandins and leukotrienes. These cause swelling and itching.

Fluocinonide is nothing but a very powerful and intensive glucocorticoid. It is commonly known for its soothing and skin healing properties and is extensively popular as the go-to topical medication when suffering from eczema and seborrhoeic dermatitis. Fluocinonide can also heal rough and scaly patches in people with psoriasis.

When suffering from itching, redness, scaling, and irritable skin, you may have turned to Lidex cream, either due to your dermatologist's advice, or based on your internet research. Fluocinonide is the generic name of Lidex. Several other brands are also available with the same ingredient. They are in the form of topical creams and ointments with 0.1 percent fluocinonide. 

Before deciding if fluocinonide is beneficial or not, it is important to identify the root cause of skin infections. Skin infections are of many kinds, but the most common ones are caused by bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Several factors can make you susceptible to skin infections. An impaired immune system, wearing sweaty or damp clothes, as well as cuts and open wounds left untreated are some of the conditions that are prone to the development of skin infections.

Relief from Itchy Skin

Perhaps one of the most irritating and inconveniently distracting symptoms of skin infections is an itchy skin. Atopic dermatitis or eczema, contact dermatitis (including rashes caused by poison oak and ivy), and xerotic dermatitis (dry skin) can also cause itching of the skin. It is a long-lasting skin problem. Medically termed as pruritus, itching of the skin can also be caused by other factors, such as allergies, hives, pregnancy, and in rare cases, cancer. Several remedies are easily available to get relief from an itchy skin. They include:

  • Using lotions and moisturizers to combat skin dryness.
  • A warm shower to soothe skin irritation.
  • Switching to a milder bathing soap.
  • Using sunscreen to avoid sunburn, which can aggravate skin itching.

Apart from these solutions, a doctor may also prescribe medications, such as antihistamines to combat allergies and topical steroids like fluocinonide.

Precautions to Keep in Mind When Using Lidex

Caution must be observed when using topical steroids. For starters, never use topical steroids without a prescription and without your doctor's advice. Fluocinonide is extremely potent and can react harshly. The improper use of fluocinonide will only intensify your skin problem. It is also important to remember that fluocinonide creams are to be used only in the affected areas, after ensuring that they are clean and dry.

Avoid applying the cream or ointment in your groin, underarms, or other sensitive regions in your body, unless specifically advised by your doctor. Moreover, make sure to discontinue its usage if you find that you are allergic to any of the cream's ingredients.

While using Lidex or fluocinonide creams, certain things must be kept in mind. They include:

  • Diligently following the instructions written in the pamphlet, which is enclosed with the cream. Refrain from carelessly using this strong ointment or cream.
  • Clean and dry the affected area where the cream would be applied.
  • After Lidex application on the affected area, gently rub it until it gets absorbed by your skin. Wash your hands thoroughly to make sure every last bit of the cream is scrubbed off. You do not want to be spreading the cream to unaffected areas of your body.
  • If the medication gets into the eye, clean it immediately to avoid glaucoma. This medication should not be used inside the mouth or nose. Ensure to clean these areas with plenty of water.
  • Do not cover up the treated area with bandages or other things. Let your skin breathe.
  • Once you start using the cream, try applying it at regular intervals and as instructed to you by your dermatologist or doctor.
  • You can use this medication once daily if treating eczema. In the case of psoriasis, treatment can be applied once or twice daily. If this cream is being used for other skin conditions, then apply once or twice daily as directed by the doctor.

Side Effects Associated with Lidex Use

Lidex may be well-recommended by doctors, and even consider it as an effective medication to treat certain skin conditions. However, it does not, under any circumstances, warrant the unsparing use of these topical steroid creams. The side effects are not just harmful and vexing, but they can also cause long-term damages. If applied more than the prescribed amount, fluocinonide percolates through the skin, resulting in harmful effects. The risk is also much higher in children since they tend to absorb higher amounts of fluocinonide compared to adults. It may also affect their normal growth and development. If treatment is required for a longer duration, then the child’s doctor would need to monitor the child's growth and development.

Some of the symptoms and visible side effects of inappropriate Lidex use are:

The rare side effects of Lidex are:

  • Urticaria or hives
  • Developing stretch marks on the skin
  • Hair loss
  • Acne
  • Skin blisters
  • Skin discoloration (either increased or decreased)
  • Cushing's disease
  • Hirsutism (excessive hair growth)
  • Skin irritation 
  • Skin ulcers or sores
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Burning and flaking of the skin
  • Redness and scaling around the mouth
  • Loss of skin color

The symptoms of Cushing's disease are:

  • Muscle weakness
  • High blood pressure, which worsens over time
  • Weight gain around the midsection and upper back
  • Moon face or roundness of the face
  • Inflammation of the hair follicles and glands
  • Feeling depressed or anxious
  • Slow healing of wounds, cuts, or bruises

It is rare to come across a very serious allergic reaction to this drug; however, just for safety measures, always inform your doctor if you experience serious side effects, such as trouble breathing, itching or swelling of the face, tongue, or throat, and severe dizziness.

Do not ignore these symptoms and contact your healthcare provider right away. Fluocinonide cream may be effective, but it is not the only solution to resolve all skin infections. The following precautions must be remembered to avoid further complications:

  • Do not use this cream during pregnancy. If you are using it and realize that you are pregnant, contact your doctor for an alternative prescription.
  • Fluocinonide must be strictly avoided while breastfeeding. 
  • Before using this cream, inform your doctor if you have a history of certain skin conditions or any immune system problems.
  • Fluocinonide creams can affect children's growth, particularly in teenagers. Be cautious and make sure that you conduct regular growth checkups if your child is using the cream. If you notice that it is indeed impeding their normal growth, discontinue its use.
  • The benefits of using steroid creams are not always the best choice for people who have diabetes. The usage of steroid creams can greatly affect the blood sugar levels in the body. It is advisable to revise the dosage of diabetes medications when using fluocinonide creams.
  • The side effects of using fluocinonide creams among children below 12 years of age have not been proven yet. Therefore, fluocinonide creams or ointments are best avoided if your child is younger than 12 years old.
  • The doctor must be informed if you have any type of allergy, whether it is from food, medicine, or other substances.  
  • Any recent vaccinations, such those for measles, tuberculosis, chickenpox, and shingles must be reported to the physician.
  • Before you undergo surgery for any illness or need to undergo any treatment, ensure to inform your doctor that you have been using this medication.
  • If this cream is applied over large areas of the body, it may, at times, result in a significant internal absorption. To minimize this effect, your doctor may suggest treating one area of the body at a time.
  • If this medication is used for a longer duration, it will cause thinning of the skin and the tissues under it. Call your doctor immediately if you notice such side effect.

Usage and Proper Storage

Make sure that you properly store fluocinonide creams or ointments to avoid altering its components. Store it at room temperature between 15 to 30 degrees Celsius. Make sure that it is kept away from heat, moisture, and bright lights. This medicine is available in the form of cream, ointment, or gel.

If you miss an application, apply the cream as soon as you remember. However, if it is already time for your next application, then skip the missed one and continue with the scheduled application. Always ask your doctor about what to do if you miss an application and if you are unsure of what to do.

Safety Measures While Using Lidex

  • Lidex cream is only for external use. Do not get it in contact with your eyes. If contact is made with eyes, flush it immediately with clean water. Avoid rubbing your eyes.
  • Apply the cream as recommended by the doctor. Do not apply or use more than the recommended dose.
  • Lidex cream should not be used for any other skin condition without your doctor's recommendation. 
  • If Lidex cream is applied to the diaper area for young children, just apply small amounts. Ensure that the diaper or diaper pants are not tight-fitting.
  • Check with your doctor if there are any vaccinations you would be receiving while using Lidex cream.
  • Do not use Lidex cream if you have rosacea, a skin condition characterized by facial redness that comes and goes away. This cream should not be used for the treatment of perioral dermatitis.
  • Check with the pharmacist about the safe disposal of the medicine once it is no longer needed or expired. 

Drug Interaction

Always remember that topical medications such as Lidex should not be used for the treatment of other skin problems other than the ones it has been prescribed for. Do not self-evaluate and jump to conclusions about your skin condition. Doing so might lead you to consider using fluocinonide creams or ointments unmonitored. If for some reasons you do end up using this cream for a prolonged period, know your options.

You can have a laboratory test done or certain medical tests such as an adrenal gland function test to gauge your progress and determine any of the symptoms or side effects. Make sure that you also inform your doctor about your medical history. Include all necessary and important details to have an accurate diagnosis of your skin problem. Part of your medical history includes mentioning past topical steroid medications, especially if you have had fluocinonide creams in the past.

Inform your doctor before using Lidex cream, especially if you are already taking certain prescription or nonprescription medications, including dietary supplements.

As it turns out, when used judiciously and meticulously, a fluocinonide cream can indeed be a miracle cure for annoying skin infections and conditions. However, if fluocinonide creams or ointments are used excessively, much like any other product, you will probably experience adverse reactions.