ECZEMA / Triamcinolone CREAM

Triamcinolone (0.1%) Cream

Triamcinolone (0.1%) cream is a medium potency steroid cream and the generic form of the brand name medication Kenalog. Both medications work the same way and provide the same clinical benefit.

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Triamcinolone cream is a corticosteroid medication. It is applied twice daily and is effective for the treatment of eczema.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please talk to a doctor.

Overview

  • Triamcinolone cream is applied in a thin layer twice daily to the affected area(s).
  • Side effects include dry skin, burning, redness, itching, rash, and skin thinning.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider about your medical conditions and your medications before using triamcinolone cream. Do not use triamcinolone cream if you are allergic to any of its components.
  • You are prescribed new medications or change how you are taking your existing medications

What is triamcinolone cream?

Triamcinolone cream is a corticosteroid cream. There are many different types of steroid creams, and triamcinolone 0.1% cream is considered medium potency on that spectrum—it’s stronger than the type of cream you might find over the counter, such as hydrocortisone, but not the strongest available type of steroid cream. Stronger formulations are used only for very severe cases, as they are associated with more serious side effects that may require monitoring. 

How does triamcinolone cream differ from Kenalog?

Triamcinolone cream is the generic form of the brand name medication Kenalog. The two medications are considered equivalent. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires that generic drugs demonstrate bioequivalence to the brand name drug, which means they act the same way in the body and are expected to produce the same effects as the original brand name drug.

How does triamcinolone cream work?

Like all corticosteroids, triamcinolone blocks the immune system at the cellular level. The underlying cause of eczema is overactivity of the immune system. Certain triggers in the environment, including heat, chemicals in soaps and laundry detergents, and allergens like pollen and dust, can produce or worsen eczema symptoms on the skin. These symptoms include dryness and itching, and the appearance of scaly patches of skin, particularly on the hands, insides of the elbows and knees, upper chest, and other areas. By blocking the immune system at the cellular level, triamcinolone reduces the intensity of the skin’s reaction to allergens. This translates to decreased itching and redness (or discoloration in people with darker skin tones), and less scaly skin.

How should triamcinolone cream be used?

Apply a thin layer of cream to the affected area(s) and rub in until the cream is fully absorbed. For active flare-ups, apply twice a day for two weeks or as directed by your physician. In some cases, your physician may prescribe a small dose between flares to help prevent them from happening or help reduce the severity. This may involve using the steroid cream 2–3 times per week or only on weekends, for example. If you think you may need this type of preventative treatment, ask your doctor.

What if you take more than you are prescribed?

There is no set maximum dosage of triamcinolone cream, and an “overdose” of triamcinolone cream applied to the skin is not expected to produce life-threatening symptoms. The negative effects of steroid creams are mostly seen after using the cream for longer than is necessary and without any gaps in treatment, as there is a theoretical increase in risk that it is absorbed into the bloodstream. See Important Safety Information for more detail on potential negative side effects and precautions.

Is buying triamcinolone cream online safe?

Roman dispenses FDA approved drugs that are manufactured by pharmaceutical companies that adhere to the FDA’s manufacturing standards for finished drug products. In fact, you will likely find many of the same manufacturers we use in your local pharmacy.

Side effects

The following is a summary of important potential side effects and does not include every side effect possible. Be sure to read the package insert and report any side effects you experience whether on the list below or not. 

Important Medication Information

Side Effects

The following is a summary of important potential side effects and does not include every side effect possible. Be sure to read the package insert and report any side effects you experience whether on the list below or not.

Severe

  • Exfoliative dermatitis

Moderate

  • Erythema (redness)
  • Impaired wound healing 
  • Skin ulcer 
  • Edema (swelling)
  • Phlebitis (inflammation of a vein)
  • Contact dermatitis

Mild

  • Xerosis (dry skin)
  • Skin irritation 
  • Pruritus (itching)
  • Rash 
  • Telangiectasia (visible, small dilated blood vessels)
  • Urticaria (hives)
  • Striae (stretch marks)
  • Petechiae (small red or purple spots)
  • Skin hyperpigmentation 
  • Acne 
  • Folliculitis

Contraindications

  • True corticosteroid hypersensitivity is rare and generally associated with intravenous steroids, but patients who have any prior allergic reaction to triamcinolone should not receive any form of triamcinolone. It is also possible (but rare) that such patients will have cross-reactivity to other corticosteroids. Patients who have a hypersensitivity reaction to any corticosteroid are recommended to undergo skin testing, which may help to determine if there is potential hypersensitivity to other corticosteroids, and should be carefully monitored during and following the administration of any corticosteroid.

Precautions

  • The extent of absorption of triamcinolone depends on the condition of the skin and is determined by multiple factors, including the integrity of the skin, duration of therapy, and presence of inflammation or other disease processes. Absorption is increased in areas of skin damage, inflammation, or thin skin, such as the eyelids, genitals, and face. Topical preparations are metabolized in the skin, but a small amount may be absorbed systemically.
  • In some patients who receive prolonged administration of pharmacological doses of topical steroids (resulting in systemic absorption), hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) suppression and/or manifestations of Cushing’s syndrome may occur. 
  • While treatment with topical or inhaled corticosteroids lessens the risk of immunosuppression as compared with high-dose or prolonged systemic corticosteroids, localized effects may be seen. 
  • Topical corticosteroids should be used for brief periods only. Patients with evidence of preexisting skin atrophy (thinning) should receive topical corticosteroids under close medical supervision. Older adult patients are more likely to have preexisting skin atrophy from normal aging. Purpura and skin lacerations may also be more likely to occur in this population.
  • In pregnant patients, topical triamcinolone should be used with caution. It should not be used in large amounts, on large areas, or for prolonged periods of time in pregnant women. Guidelines recommend topical agents with mild to moderate potency over highly potent corticosteroids, and they should be used in short durations.
  • Whether topical triamcinolone causes sufficient systemic absorption to produce detectable quantities in breast milk is not known. Most dermatologists stress that topical corticosteroids can be safely used during lactation. If applied topically, the infant should avoid direct contact with the area of application, such as the breast. Increased blood pressure has been reported in an infant whose mother applied a high potency topical corticosteroid ointment to the nipples. Consider the benefits of breast-feeding, the risk of potential infant drug exposure, and the risk of an untreated or inadequately treated condition.

Drug interactions

The risk of triamcinolone cream (and other topical steroids) interacting with other drugs is low, and they do not have significant interactions with other drugs. If other topical medications are being used, they should be used separately to avoid potential interactions and/or diminished effects.