This medication is used to treat a variety of skin conditions (e.g., insect bites, poison oak/ivy, eczema, dermatitis, allergies, rash, itching of the outer female genitals, anal itching). Hydrocortisone reduces the swelling, itching, and redness that can occur in these types of conditions. This. Find prescription drug information for commonly prescribed medications including their possible side effects, potential drug interactions, and directions.. hc1.com | Healthcare Relationship Management. Hydrocortisone is a corticosteroid medicine or ‘steroid’. It works by damping down the body’s immune response to reduce pain, itching and swelling.. Betnovate cream, ointment and lotion all contain the active ingredient betamethasone valerate 0.1%, which is a type of medicine called a topical corticosteroid.. N.B. 0.5%–1% (restricted to ≤ 30 g) hydrocortisone products are available over-the-counter. What adverse effects are likely to occur? The risk of adverse effects increases with potency, the amount of topical corticosteroids used and occlusion..