Cortisone Cream for Dogs

Cortisone cream is a solution that is often used on humans to treat various skin problems, but may also be employed in dogs. The cream has a soothing effect and will heal rashes and allergic skin reactions. However, the cream may not always be enough to treat the dog, as the underlying condition must also be dealt with.

When Is Cortisone Cream Recommended

The cortisone cream may be used when the dog displays symptoms on the skin such as:

  • Rashes
  • Itchiness
  • Red skin
  • Dry skin

These reactions may be due to a contact allergy or a number of medical conditions including:

  • Inhalant allergies
  • Food allergies
  • Skin infections such as a yeast infection or a staph infection
  • Dermatitis
  • Autoimmune diseases that manifest on the skin
  • Liver diseases that will cause skin reactions

Effects of Cortisone Cream

The cortisone cream will effectively reduce rashes, itchiness and other negative skin reactions. The cortisone will penetrate the skin and may eliminate the antihistamines or the agents that have caused the negative reactions. The cream contains other ingredients that will soothe the skin. Typically, the dog’s response will be immediate (after 1 or 2 days of treatment); however, the treatment should be maintained for several days, as indicated by the vet to prevent the recurrence of the skin reaction.

The cream will have a concentration of 2 to 5%. Typically, the 2% cortisone cream will be available without prescription, while the higher concentrated creams will require a prescription.

How to Apply the Cortisone Cream

The cortisone cream will be applied twice per day. Some vets will indicate removing the hair on the areas of skin that need to be treated, as this will expose the skin to air and facilitate the healing.

You will have to massage the cream into the skin and make sure the cream penetrates the tissues. The cream is not greasy, so the dog can return to his normal activities without the danger of damaging your couch or carpets. However, you should make sure the cream is fully absorbed by the skin to prevent the dog from licking the cream. Firstly, if the dog removes the cream, this will no longer be effective; in addition, the cream may cause an upset stomach or even allergic reactions in your dog if ingested.

The cream cannot be applied on open wounds.

Additional Treatment for a Skin Reaction

When the skin reaction is caused by an underlying condition such as allergies or an infection, the dog will need additional treatment. The treatment may be made up of:

  • Antihistamines for less serious allergic reactions
  • Oral corticosteroids for more severe allergic reactions or autoimmune diseases; the corticosteroids will suppress the immune system
  • Oral antibiotics for skin infections
  • A change in diet (or even a cleansing diet) to improve the health of the liver

This treatment is necessary, as if the underlying condition is not dealt with, the skin reactions will be recurrent.