Temovate (clobetasol) is a topical medicine used to treat a variety of skin conditions that cause itchy, red, inflamed rashes. It is a potent topical corticosteroid with anti-inflammatory and antipruritic properties. In addition to Temovate, common brand names include Clobex, Clodan, Cormax, Impoyz and Olux.
Clobetasol comes in both cream and ointment forms. Certain brands also offer lotions, sprays, foams and shampoos.
Topical steroids are divided into categories by strength, with category 7 being the mildest and category 1 the strongest. Clobetasol is a class 1 topical steroid; therefore, it is a highly potent corticosteroid.
Clobetasol helps relieve swelling and itching from rashes and irritations. It can be used to treat various skin disorders such as:
- Eczema (atopic dermatitis)
- Contact dermatitis, including poison ivy or poison rash
- seborrheic dermatitis
- Discoid eczema
As a high-strength topical steroid, clobetasol is intended to be used as a short-term treatment to rapidly improve flare-ups of dermatitis rashes.
Clobetasol is prescribed in severe cases, or when other topical steroids don’t work. It is rarely used as first-line treatment.
Tell your healthcare provider if you have diabetes, liver disease, or adrenal disease. You should tell your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. The effect this drug may have on a developing baby is not known.
Precautions and contraindications
Due to its potency, this topical steroid is not recommended for use on the face, armpits, or groin area.
Clobetasol should not be used by children under the age of 12, and the Impoyz brand should not be used by anyone under the age of 18. Children are more likely to experience side effects. Children under the age of 12 usually work better with less potent forms of topical steroids.
Which topical steroids are better for children?
For the elderly with thinner skin, caution is recommended. People with delicate skin are at higher risk for side effects. You may be instructed to use this medication less often or for a shorter period of time.
Clobetasol should not be used to treat rosacea or perioral dermatitis. Topical steroids can make these skin conditions worse.
Other topical corticosteroids
There are many different types of prescription topical steroids available, ranging from mild to powerful.
- Prednisone carbonate
Strong topical steroids
According to the manufacturer, the typical dose of clobetasol cream is two times a day to the affected area.
The amount of medication required per application depends on the size of the area being treated and where the medication is to be applied. A fingertip-sized dab is an average dose.
Your healthcare provider will show you how much medication you need for each application. You should use no more than 50 grams of medication per week.
Always follow the directions your healthcare provider gives you because the dose of this medication varies from person to person.
How to take and store
Apply a thin layer of this medication to the affected area and rub gently. For rashes only.
This medication is used for a short period of time that does not improve with other treatments during an acute attack of the rash, and should not be used for more than two weeks in a row.
You should stop using it once your condition improves. It is not meant to be used as preventive treatment.
Do not apply the cream more than the prescribed number of times and do not use more than the recommended dose of medication. Doing so will not clear the rash faster, but it will increase the chance of side effects.
Also, do not use this medication as a moisturizer. If your skin feels dry between uses, apply a non-medicated, over-the-counter moisturizer.
Clobetasol should be stored at room temperature.
How to Use Topical Steroids Safely
When used exactly as directed, the risk of side effects from this drug is low. Report any side effects to your healthcare provider.
minor side effects
Minor side effects of this cream include:
- Burning and stinging after use
- thinning of the skin
- scaling or cracked skin
Less commonly, you may experience these mild side effects:
- Folliculitis (red bumps filled with pus in the hair follicle)
- lighten skin tone
- stretch marks
These side effects are usually not permanent and usually go away when the drug is stopped.
serious side effects
Serious side effects from this drug are rare.
Call your healthcare provider right away if you experience any of these conditions:
- Rash won’t heal even with proper medication
- increased redness and swelling, or signs of infection
- signs of an allergic reaction, including hives or swelling of the face or mouth
- vision changes
Using this medication on a large area of the skin can increase the risk of serious side effects, as does long-term use.
Common side effects of topical steroids
Warning and Interaction
Although this is a topical drug, it is enough to be absorbed through the skin to cause an overdose. To minimize this risk, do not apply to large areas of the body or more frequently than recommended.
Also, after you’ve used the medication, do not cover the area with tight clothing or bandages unless your healthcare provider specifically instructs you to do so. Covering the area tightly after application will allow the skin to absorb more than usual. This can cause too much of the drug to be absorbed through the skin and increase your risk of side effects.
It is possible to absorb enough of this drug through the skin to cause:
- Cushing’s syndrome
- eye problems such as glaucoma or cataracts
- Adrenal insufficiency (HPA axis inhibition)
This is especially true if continuous use is longer than recommended.
It is important to wash your hands thoroughly after handling this medication to avoid transferring it to other parts of the body (such as the face) or to other people, especially young children.
Tell your healthcare provider if your skin does not improve after two weeks of use.