Not the same. Steroids are classified based on strength or potency. Class 1 to 7 (high to low). For the same prescription ointments are stronger than cream. Also the percentage of ingredient in the medication does not always correlate with the strength of the steroid. So the difference between Hydrocortisone 1% (class 7-least potent) and Hydrocortisone valerate (class 4/5-mid strength) is potency.