What Is Triamcinolone Acetonide Cream Used For

Tell your doctor about all the medications you use to avoid interactions with triamcinolone.

Triamcinolone Acetonide Cream – Uses, Side Effects, and More

This medication is used to treat a variety of skin conditions (such as eczema, dermatitis, allergies, rash). Triamcinolone reduces the swelling, itching, and redness that can occur in these types of conditions. This medication is a medium- to strong-potency corticosteroid. The potency depends on the strength and the form that you use. For details on the potency of your product, ask your pharmacist.

How to use Triamcinolone Acetonide Cream

Use this medication only on the skin. Do not use it on the face, groin, or underarms unless directed to do so by your doctor.

Wash and dry your hands. Before applying the medication, clean and dry the affected area. Apply a thin film of the medication to the affected area and gently rub in, usually 2 to 4 times daily or as directed by your doctor. Do not cover, bandage or wrap the area unless directed to do so by your doctor.

After applying the medication, wash your hands unless you are using this medication to treat the hands. When applying this medication near the eyes, avoid getting it in the eyes as this may worsen or cause glaucoma. Also, avoid getting this medication in the nose or mouth. If you get the medication in your eyes, nose, or mouth, rinse with plenty of water.

Use this medication only for the condition prescribed. Do not use it for longer than prescribed.

Inform your doctor if your condition lasts or gets worse.

Side Effects

Burning, itching, irritation, or dryness may occur when this medication is first applied to the skin. This should disappear in a few days as your body adjusts to the medication. If any of these effects last or get worse, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: stretch marks, skin thinning/discoloration, acne, greatly increased hair growth, small red bumps on the skin (folliculitis).

Skin infections can become worse when this medication is used. Notify your doctor if redness, swelling, or irritation do not improve.

Rarely, it is possible this medication will be absorbed from the skin into the bloodstream. This can lead to side effects of too much corticosteroid. These side effects are more likely in children, and in people who use this medication for a long time or over large areas of the skin. Tell your doctor right away if any of the following side effects occur: unusual/extreme tiredness, weight loss, headache, swelling ankles/feet, increased thirst/urination, vision problems.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US – Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.

In Canada – Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.


Before using triamcinolone, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other corticosteroids (such as hydrocortisone, prednisone); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: poor blood circulation, immune system problems.

Do not use if there is an infection or sore present in the area to be treated.

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Rarely, using corticosteroid medications for a long time or over large areas of skin can make it more difficult for your body to respond to physical stress. Before having surgery or emergency treatment, or if you get a serious illness/injury, tell your doctor or dentist that you are using this medication or have used this medication within the past few months.

Though it is unlikely, this medication may temporarily slow down a child’s growth if used for a long time. See the doctor regularly so your child’s height can be checked.

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk when applied to the skin. Other medications in this class pass into breast milk when taken by mouth. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

What You Need to Know About Triamcinolone

Read on to learn about the most common uses, benefits, and risks of triamcinolone.

Triamcinolone is a synthetic glucocorticoid. It imitates natural steroid hormones your body produces. It helps to adjust your immune system when it overreacts.

Your doctor might prescribe this medication for allergic or immune-related conditions, such as eczema, psoriasis, allergies, and mouth ulcers.

It was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1958, so it’s been around for a long time.

Triamcinolone is available in as both generic and brand-name medication. The dose and strength depend on the exact type of triamcinolone you’ve been prescribed and the medical conditions you have.

Topical triamcinolone is available in cream, lotion, ointment, and topical spray. Examples of triamcinolone topicals include:

  • Kenalog Topical Spray
  • Mykacet (nystatin/triamcinolone acetonide)
  • Triderm
  • Triamcinolone acetonide (various generics)

The most common examples of injectable triamcinolone include:

  • Aristospan (triamcinolone hexacetonide)
  • Kenalog
  • Triesence
  • Triamcinolone acetonide (generic)
  • Zilretta

Other common brands of triamcinolone include:

  • Nasacort (nasal spray)
  • triamcinolone dental paste

There are many forms and strengths of triamcinolone. The dosage you are prescribed will depend on factors such as your age, weight, and the conditions you have.

Topical triamcinolone is considered medium- to high-strength. Topical ointments are the strongest because they can penetrate the skin best.

Triamcinolone topical products are used to treat skin conditions like:

Triamcinolone is also available as a nasal spray, injectible, and dental paste for:

  • allergies
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • keloid scars
  • bursitis
  • mouth injury and inflammation

Triamcinolone may also be prescribed for other uses not listed.

Your pharmacist can show you how to correctly use the nasal spray, dental paste, and other forms of triamcinolone your doctor prescribes.

  • Always wash your hands after applying triamcinolone lotion, cream, or ointment to your skin.
  • Don’t cover the area after applying this medication to your skin unless your doctor tells you differently.
  • Keep topical products away from your eyes and nose.
  • Injectable triamcinolone is usually given in your doctor’s office.
  • Never share your medicine with anyone else.

Triamcinolone doses depend on the type of product: topical, nasal spray, dental paste, or injectable. Here’s information on some common doses.

Your doctor will decide the best dose and formulation for you based on your condition.

Your dose might have to be adjusted if you have certain conditions, including:

  • liver problems
  • stomach problems
  • heart disease
  • high blood pressure
  • diabetes


Topical triamcinolone is usually applied two to four times a day. Using topical products on wet skin is most effective.

Your doctor will prescribe a strength of triamcinolone based on the condition or illness being treated. Topical triamcinolone may range in strength from .025 to 0.5 percent. Topical spray strength is 0.147 milligram per gram (mg/gm).

Dental Paste

Apply a thin film on the injured area. It’s most effective when used at bedtime. You may need to apply this form of triamcinolone two to three times a day. Your doctor will tell you how often to do so.

Don’t rub the paste onto the sore area because it will become gritty and crumble.


Triamcinolone injectable comes in several forms (intramuscular, intra-articular, intravitreal), and dosage depends on the treatment and the type of triamcinolone being used.

All injectable forms are given in a doctor’s office.

Adults: Intramuscular injection (injection into muscle) is intended for severe allergies, arthritis, or skin conditions like psoriasis or eczema that haven’t responded to topical treatment. The dose is usually between 40 mg to 80 mg to start. Injections are continued based on the person’s response.

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Adults: Intravitreal injection (injection into the eye) is used to treat eye inflammation. The starting dose is 4 mg. For eye surgery, doses vary from 1 mg to 4 mg.

Adults: Intra-articular injection (injection into a joint) of the brand-name drug Zilretta is used for osteoarthritis knee pain. The one-time dose is 32 mg. Zilretta can’t be substituted for other forms of triamcinolone acetonide injectable.

Other dosages of injectable triamcinolone are available for the treatment of various conditions. Your doctor can provide more information on the best dosage for you.

Children: Dosage is based on weight and the condition being treated.

Nasal spray

For adults and children 12 and over, dosage starts with two sprays in each nostril once a day. The daily dose can be reduced to the minimum effective dose to avoid side effects.

For children 6 to 11 years old, dosage starts with one spray in each nostril once a day. If needed, this can be raised to two sprays per nostril daily.

For children 2 to 5 years of age, the typical dosage is one spray in each nostril once a day.

Triamcinolone is a popular medication with many uses.

Following are a few benefits of this medication:

  • It’s well-known. Triamcinolone is widely used and has been around for a long time.
  • It’s inexpensive. Many of the forms are available as generics, so it’s affordable.
  • It has many uses. Triamcinolone is readily available and is used for many common conditions.
  • a strange feeling or a sense that something is wrong
  • difficulty catching your breath or breathing
  • rash, hives, or swelling
  • difficulty swallowing or speaking
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • irregular heartbeat or cardiac arrest
  • a feeling of doom or that you may die

Always let your doctor know if you’ve ever had a reaction to this medication in the past.

Some people may be at risk when taking triamcinolone. If you’re pregnant or nursing, talk to your doctor before taking triamcinolone.

Triamcinolone may delay growth in children, so be sure to talk to your child’s doctor about the risks of using triamcinolone.

  • weight gain
  • water retention
  • shortness of breath
  • mood changes
  • insomnia or trouble sleeping
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • anxiety or restlessness
  • severe mood changes or depression
  • bloody or black, tarry stools
  • muscle weakness
  • confusion
  • very high blood pressure
  • fast heart rate
  • shortness of breath
  • blurred vision
  • severe headache
  • seizure
  • pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), as indicated by symptoms such as pain in the upper stomach area, nausea, or vomiting

This isn’t a full list of risks and side effects for triamcinolone. Ask your doctor about potential side effects, and let your doctor know if you have any new or unusual symptoms while taking this medication.

Triamcinolone may interact with many other prescription medications, over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, and supplements. It’s important to let your doctor know every prescription medication, OTC drug, supplement, and herbal remedy you’re taking.

Interactions depend on:

  • the type of triamcinolone you’re taking
  • other medications
  • your age
  • other health conditions you have

Topical triamcinolone usually has fewer interactions. Corticosteroids like injectable triamcinolone can interact with many other medications.

Corticosteroids like triamcinolone treat many different conditions that may be caused by an overreaction from your immune system.

The medication is available in several formulations and strengths. It’s also available in combination with other medications like nystatin, which is used for fungal infections.

Tell your doctor about all the medications you use to avoid interactions with triamcinolone.

Don’t suddenly stop taking triamcinolone, as this may cause withdrawal symptoms. Talk to your doctor about the best way to slowly stop the medication.

Last medically reviewed on June 25, 2019

How we reviewed this article:

Healthline has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

  • Eczema: Steroids and other topical medications. (2017).
  • Hajar T, et al. (2014). Prehydration is effective for rapid control of recalcitrant atopic dermatitis. DOI:
  • Kenalog-10 injection (triamcinolone acetonide injectable suspension, USP). (2014).
  • Orange book: Approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. (2019).
  • Oralone – triamcinolone acetonide paste. (2019).
  • Triamcinolone. (n.d).

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Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD, is a well-known doctor. He is famous for his studies of ageing, genetics and other medical conditions. He works at the Institute of Food Biotechnology and Genomics NAS of Ukraine. His scientific researches are printed by the most reputable international magazines. Some of his works are: Differences in the gut Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratio across age groups in healthy Ukrainian population [BiomedCentral.com]; Mating status affects Drosophila lifespan, metabolism and antioxidant system [Science Direct]; Anise Hyssop Agastache foeniculum Increases Lifespan, Stress Resistance, and Metabolism by Affecting Free Radical Processes in Drosophila [Frontiersin].
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