If you are using the over-the-counter product to self-treat, read and follow all directions on the product package before using this medication. If you have any questions, consult your pharmacist. If your doctor has prescribed this medication, use it as directed.
This medication is for use on the skin only. Apply to the affected area no more than 3 to 4 times a day. If you are using the cream, gel, or liquid, rub in gently and thoroughly. Some liquid forms of this medication should be shaken before use. Check the manufacturer's information for specific directions. Let the medicine dry completely before letting anyone else touch the area.
Wash your hands well after applying unless you are using this medication to treat the hands. Avoid getting this medication in your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you do get the medication in those areas, flush with plenty of water.
Do not apply to skin that is injured or irritated (such as skin that is cut, scraped, sunburned, infected, or has a rash). Do not bandage or tightly wrap the affected area. Doing so may increase the risk of side effects. You may cover the area loosely to protect clothing.
Heat can increase the risk of side effects. Do not apply this medication right before, during, or after activities that increase skin temperature (such as bathing, swimming, heavy exercise). Wait until your skin has cooled before applying the medication. Do not use a sunlamp/tanning bed, hot water bottle, or heating pad/device on the treated area.
Check the ingredients on the label even if you have used the product before. The manufacturer may have changed the ingredients. Also, products with similar names may contain different ingredients meant for different purposes. Read the label carefully to make sure you have the right product for you. Ask your pharmacist if you have any questions.
Tell your doctor if your condition lasts for more than 7 days, or if it gets worse, or if it keeps returning. If you think you may have a serious medical problem, get medical help right away.