|Type of medicine||Potent topical corticosteroid|
|Used for||Inflammatory skin conditions such as severe eczema|
|Also called||Aureocort® (also contains chlortetracycline)|
Triamcinolone is a potent topical corticosteroid (also referred to as a topical steroid). Topical steroids are used in addition to emollients (moisturisers) for treating inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis. A topical steroid is used when one or more patches of eczema or dermatitis flare up. It is not a cure for your condition, but it will help to relieve the symptoms of a flare-up by reducing inflammation, itching and redness. This ointment also contains an anti-infective agent called chlortetracycline. You may be prescribed this to use for a short period of time if areas of your skin have become infected.
Short courses of triamcinolone may also be useful in the treatment of infected insect bites or for small areas of infected psoriasis.
Before using triamcinolone
To make sure this is the right treatment for you, before you start using triamcinolone it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you have rosacea or acne.
- If you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
- If it is for a child under 8 years old.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a skin preparation, or to an antibacterial medicine known as a 'tetracycline'.
How to use triamcinolone
- Before you start using this preparation, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside your pack. The leaflet will give you more information about topical steroids and a full list of side-effects that you may experience from using them.
- Apply a small amount on to the areas of skin which are affected. Then gently rub it into the skin until it has disappeared.
- Unless you have been directed otherwise by your doctor, use the ointment twice daily for one week only.
- The amount of topical steroid cream or ointment that you should apply is commonly measured by fingertip units (FTUs). One FTU is the amount that is squeezed out along an adult's fingertip (that is, from the very end of the finger to the first crease in the finger). As a guide, one FTU is enough to cover an area twice the size of an adult hand. Your doctor will give you an idea of how many FTUs you will need to cover the area of your skin which is affected.
- If you are using more than one topical corticosteroid, make sure you know when and where to use each one. If you are unsure, check with your doctor or ask your pharmacist for further advice.
- After you have applied triamcinolone, wash your hands (unless your hands are the treated area).
- If you are using triamcinolone for psoriasis, make sure you follow your doctor's instructions carefully. It should not be used for large areas of psoriasis, as this could cause your symptoms to flare up afterwards.
Getting the most from your treatment
- If you are using an emollient along with this preparation, apply the emollient first. Then wait 10-15 minutes before applying triamcinolone. This allows time for the emollient to be absorbed before the topical corticosteroid is applied. (Your skin should be moist but not slippery when you apply triamcinolone.)
- Do not use this preparation on your face unless your doctor has said you should. If you have been told to use it on your face, be careful not to get any preparation near your eyes and do not use it for longer periods of time than you have been advised.
- Unless advised to do so by your doctor, do not apply a bandage or dressing to the area being treated, as this will increase absorption of the preparation and increase the risk of side-effects.
- If your symptoms have not improved after one week (or if they get worse), speak again with your doctor for further advice. Topical corticosteroids like triamcinolone should not be used for long periods of time or on large areas of the body, especially in children.
- After you finish using triamcinolone, continue to use your emollients every day. This will help to prevent a further flare-up.
Can triamcinolone cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. You can reduce the risk of side-effects from topical corticosteroids like triamcinolone, by applying the preparation thinly, no more than twice a day, and to the affected areas only.
|Side-effects of topical triamcinolone||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Thinning of your skin, striae (like stretch marks), bruising, discolouration, or thin spidery blood vessels||Speak with your doctor if you notice any of these|
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this ointment, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store triamcinolone
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 63rd Edition (Mar 2012) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
- Manufacturer's PIL, Aureocort® Ointment,; Manufacturer's PIL, Aureocort® Ointment, Mercury Pharma Group, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated February 2012.
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Helen Allen||Peer Reviewer: Dr John Cox|
|Last Checked: 18/04/2012||Document ID: 13873 Version: 1||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.