Cortisone cream, a topical steroid, treats inflammation associated with insect stings and bites, rashes and other skin problems. Ingestible cortizone is a prescription medicine. Over-the-counter cortisone cream is topical, applied to a cat's skin daily while problems persist. With topical cortisone, you must monitor to prevent ingestion.
Info and Uses
Cortisone cream is a topical version of hydrocortisone, a steroid drug. Hydrocortisone is also known as cortisol. Unlike the ingestible form of cortisone, some low-strength versions of cortisone -- generally 0.5 percent to 1 percent strength creams -- are available without a prescription and are applied to the skin. Cortisone cream generally serves to relieve inflammation. This can help a cat suffering from itching and redness associated with insect bites, eczema, allergies or other skin irritations.
Buying and Applying
If your cat needs topical cortisone cream, a vet may recommend getting a low-strength over-the-counter cream from your local drug store. To apply, gently cleanse the affected area, then apply cream to affected areas, softly rubbing it in until it evenly coats the affected areas. Apply up to twice a day. Avoid using the cream on a cat's eyes or groin area, and don't bandage the area unless otherwise advised by your vet.
Ingestion and Absorption
Since cats regularly clean themselves, you must make sure they don't lick and swallow the cortisone cream. MyPetFirst.com notes prescription creams for humans are more likely to cause problems if ingested than over-the-counter creams. Nonetheless, the cream doesn't do much good it if it doesn't stay on the wound. Some medications may interact with cortisone cream.
Although absorption into the bloodstream is rare or limited, if it happens it can pose problems associated with oral steroids; these include immune system suppression and thinning of the skin. Don't use cortisone cream on animals with known allergy or sensitivity to cortisone, fungal infections, liver or kidney problems, or stomach ulcers. Although cortisone cream is available over the counter, informing your vet about its usage and any potential health issues will help your cat get the best care possible.
Sarah Whitman's work has been featured in newspapers, magazines, websites and informational booklets. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in nutrition, and her projects feature nutrition and cooking, whole foods, supplements and organics. She also specializes in companion animal health, encouraging the use of whole foods, supplements and other holistic approaches to pet care.