What to Know About Temovate (Clobetasol Propionate)

A Topical Medication Use to Treat Itchy, Red Skin Rashes

In This Article

Temovate (clobetasol propionate) is a topical medication used to treat a variety of skin conditions that cause an itchy, red, inflamed rash. It is a potent topical corticosteroid that is anti-inflammatory and anti-itch. In addition to Temovate, common brand names include Clobex, Clodan, Cormax, Impoyz, and Olux.

Clobetasol comes in both cream and ointment forms. Lotions, sprays, foams, and shampoos are also available with certain brands.

Uses

Topical steroids are grouped into classes by strength, Class 7 being the mildest and Class 1 the strongest. Clobetasol is a Class 1 topical steroid; as such it is an extremely potent corticosteroid.

Clobetasol helps relieve swelling and itching due to skin rashes and irritations. It can be used to treat various skin disorders such as:

As a high-strength topical steroid, clobetasol is meant to be used as a short-term treatment to quickly improve dermatitis rash flares.

Before Taking

Clobetasol is prescribed in severe cases, or when other topical steroids haven't worked. It's rarely used as a first-line treatment.

Tell your doctor if you have diabetes, liver disease, or an adrenal gland disorder. You should tell your doctor if you're pregnant. The effect this medication may have on a developing fetus isn't known. Also, tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding, as this may not be the ideal medication for you in that case.

Precautions and Contraindications

Because of the potency, this particular topical steroid isn't recommended for use on the face, armpits, or groin area.

Clobetasol should not be used by children under the age of 12 years old (18 years old in the case of the brand Impoyz). Children absorb more of this medication through their skin (per their body size) than do adults, so they are more likely to experience side effects. Children younger than 12 years old often do better with less-potent topical steroid forms.

For older people, whose skin is thinner, care must be taken. Those with delicate skin have a higher risk of side effects. You may be instructed to apply this medication less often, or to use it for shorter periods of time.

Clobetasol shouldn't 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 topical steroids available, ranging from mild to highly potent. Just a sampling of what is available:

Hydrocortisone can be bought over the counter; the rest are prescription medications.

Dosage

According to the manufacturer, typical dosing for clobetasol cream is twice daily to the affected areas.

The amount of medication needed per application depends on the size of the area being treated, and where on the body you are applying the medication. A fingertip-sized dab is an average dose.

Your doctor will show you how much medication should be used per application. No more than 50 grams of medication should be used per week.

Always follow the directions given to you by your physician, as the dosage for this medication varies from person to person.

How to Take and Store

Apply a thin layer of this medication onto affected areas and rub it in gently. Only apply it to the rash.

This particular medication should not be used for more than two weeks consecutively. Instead, it's meant to be used short term, during acute flares of a skin rash that hasn't improved with other treatments.

Once improvement is seen, you should stop using it. It is not meant to be used as a preventative treatment.

It's important that you are not applying the cream more often than is prescribed, or using more medication than is recommended per dose. Doing so won't clear up your rash any faster, but it does raise the chance of developing side effects.

Also, don't use this medication as a moisturizer. If your skin feels dry between uses, it's OK to use a non-medicated, over-the-counter moisturizing cream.

Store clobetasol at room temperature.

Side Effects

When used exactly as directed, the risk of side effects from this medication is low. However, any side effects should be reported to your doctor.

Common

Minor side effects from this cream include:

  • Burning and stinging after application
  • Itching
  • Thinning of the skin
  • Scaling or cracked skin

Less commonly, you may develop:

  • Folliculitis (red, pus-filled bumps in the hair follicles)
  • Lightening of the skin
  • Stretch marks

These side effects typically are not permanent and fade after the medication is discontinued.

Severe

Serious side effects due to this medication are very rare. They do sometimes happen, though. If you experience any of these, call your doctor immediately:

  • Rash not healing even after proper use of the medication
  • Increased redness and swelling, or signs of infection
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, including hives, or swelling of the face or mouth
  • Changes in vision
  • Fainting

Using this medication over large areas of the skin increases the risk of severe side effects, as does long-term use.

Warnings and Interactions

Although this is a topical medication, enough can be absorbed through the skin to cause an overdose. To minimize this risk, don't apply to large areas of the body and don't apply more often than is recommended.

Also, after you've applied the medication, don't cover the area with bandages unless you've been specifically instructed to do so by your doctor. or tight clothing. Tightly covering the area after application causes the skin to absorb more than it typically would. This could result in too much medication being absorbed by the skin, and raise your risk of side effects.

It's possible to absorb enough of this medication through the skin to cause:

This is especially true if using it for longer consecutive periods than is recommended.

You should not take this medication along with oral steroids, such as prednisone.

It's important to wash your hands thoroughly after handling this medication, because it's possible you can transfer it to other areas of your body (like your face) or to others, especially young children.

If you haven't seen improvement of your skin after two weeks of use, let your doctor know.

Was this page helpful?

Article Sources