Topical Steroids

Julie Weber Is This A Poison

Toxicity:  No to minimal toxicity in small amounts.

Expected symptoms:  Stomach upset and possible loose stool if swallowed more than a taste.

What to do:  Wipe out the child’s mouth with a wet cloth or rinse the mouth. Give your child a drink of water to help get the taste out of the mouth. Contact the Missouri Poison Center immediately.

Topical steroids, such as Hydrocortisone Cream, are used to treat skin irritation or rashes caused by inflammation. These topical steroid creams or ointments often contain ingredients like betamethasone, hydrocortisone, and triamcinolone. There are several different brands of topical steroids available.  These products should be used on a child only with medical advice from a doctor or pharmacist. 

If swallowed, topical steroids do not usually cause any harm. Symptoms are usually limited to mild upset stomach. Due to the creamy nature of the product, it can cause a loose stool.

If you notice that your child has ingested a topical steroid such as hydrocortisone cream, gel, or ointment, do not panic. Take the product away from the child and wipe their mouth out with a soft wet cloth. You may give them some water to drink to get the taste out of their mouth. Do not try to induce vomiting. 

After you have removed your child from the situation, immediately call the Missouri Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222.  Treatment recommendations are often determined by the amount ingested. The poison center is open all day, every day for poisoning emergencies and questions and our team of medical professionals will help to walk you through the next steps. 

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