What is Clobetasol?
Clobetasol is a topical hormone cream. It contains the active ingredient clobetasol and is a type of medicine known as a corticosteroid (adrenal cortex hormone). Clobetasol is a powerful skin medicine that reduces inflammation and accompanying symptoms such as itching, pain, redness and swelling. Clobetasol is a prescription-only medicine.
What is Clobetasol used for?
Clobetasol is used to treat specific skin disorders such as:
- Psoriasis (skin disease in which excessive skin cell production leads to the development of inflamed, scaly patches);
- Systemic lupus erythematosus (auto-immune disease in which red, raised patches develop on the skin);
- Certain forms of Lichen planus (skin condition that produces red, itchy patches).
Clobetasol has an anti-inflammatory effect and relieves pain and itching, allowing the skin to become supple and calm.
How to use Clobetasol
Apply Clobetasol ointment or cream to the affected areas of skin. Apply the product thinly to minimise the chances of side effects. Wash your hands directly after applying the cream or ointment and avoid contact with the eyes. Rinse thoroughly with water if accidental contact occurs. Do not get the treated areas wet within half an hour of application.
Hormone cream or ointment should only be used in short courses. If no improvement is seen within a few weeks, you should talk to your doctor. If Clobetasol does produce the desired result, you should gradually discontinue use. Start with applying the cream or ointment only once a day, then every other day, then every other two days and so on.
Unless the doctor advises otherwise, the usual dose in adults and children is:
- A thin layer applied to the affected area(s) of skin twice a day. As soon as the condition starts to improve, you should use it less frequently as directed. Do not use more than 30 to 60 grams of cream or ointment a week.
The duration of treatment should be determined by a doctor. Read the package leaflet before use.
Clobetasol may cause side effects although they are generally rare. Side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine include:
- Thinning of the skin at the application site;
- Patches or striae (stripe-like stretch marks) on the treated skin;
- Hypersensitivity reactions;
- A decrease in the production of natural hormones by the adrenal glands (only if used long term).
If Clobetasol cream or ointment is used under airtight dressings (e.g. plasters, bandages or nappies) the medicine is absorbed into the body more. This increases the risk of local side effects. Consult a doctor if the side effects are severe. For more information on side effects, see the package leaflet.
When not to use Clobetasol
Clobetasol is not suitable for everyone and should not be used if:
- You are allergic to clobetasol or any other ingredient in this medicine.
This medicine should not be used for treating viral skin infections such as chicken pox, bacterial skin infections such as acne or impetigo and fungal skin infections or rosacea. Do not apply to broken skin or open wounds.
Do not use Clobetasol if you are pregnant, planning for a baby or breastfeeding without consulting a doctor first.
This medicine does not interact with alcohol or affect your ability to drive safely.