Uses of Betamethasone Cream And Its Side Effects

  • Posted on: July 24, 2013
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What Is Betamethasone Cream?

betamethasone-creamBetamethasone cream is a steroid with strong anti-inflammatory capabilities used to treat itching skin or flaking caused by eczema.  It contains betamethasone dipropionate, USP, a synthetic adrenocorticosteroid, for use on skin as an emollient. It is generally applied as a cream or lotion though it can be prescribed as an intramuscular injection where needed.  This is usually only the case for severe cases of itching caused by allergic reactions to poison ivy or similar plants.

Betamethasone in its compound form is branded as Diprosone, Diprolene, Celestamine, Procort  or Bentelan in Italy. In the North America and Canada, betamethasone when combined with clotrimazole is distributed as Lotrisone and Lotriderm. When combined with salicylic acid, it can be used to for treatment of psoriasis.

What is It Used For?

Betamethasone cream or Betnovate cream, ointment and lotion is used to treat a variety of conditions. Some are listed below.

  • Eczema
  • Skin inflammation caused by allergies or irritants
  • Inflammed, red, scaly skin
  • Psoriasis
  • Rashes caused by excessive scratching
  • Inflammatory skin diseases
  • Widespread reddening of the skin
  • Skin reactions caused by insect bites and stings

Using Betamethasone Cream

It is extremely important to use the cream according to the doctors instructions. Not doing so can lead to unwanted side effects.  This also applied to the length of time you use the cream for as applying it for longer than your doctor has prescribed can cause additional problems.   Only use the cream on parts of the body it was prescribed for.  As dosages and frequency of treatment may vary from patient to patient, always be clear about your doctors instructions for use.

Also be sure that your doctor has your full medical history before use. This is important as there can be certain medications and conditions that will affect how well the cream works and the chance of side effects. This is particularly important if your medical history includes autoimmune disorders, skin infections, rheumatoid arthritis, human papilloma viral disease or weak immune system.

  • Apply Betnovate cream thinly to the area affected.  Do this once or two times a day to begin with.  As the condition improves, reduce the frequency, as instructed by your doctor.
  • If you condiction requires dressing, cleanse the skin thoroughly before applying the cream and always apply a fresh dressing afterwards.
  • Clean your hands before and after using the cream on the affected area.
  • Do not use Betnovate for longer than four weeks consistently.  If applying to the face or to a child, do not use for longer than 5 days. If you are not seeing improvements within two to four weeks, consult your doctor as you may need a repeat course.  Only repeat a course on the advice of your doctor.
  • Avoid moisturisers on the area you are applying the cream. Wait at least 30 minutes before using moisturiser as it could dilute the steroid in the cream and make it less effective.

What Are The Potential Side Effects?

Like all medications, particularly steroids, there are potential side effects from using betamethasone cream.  Skin irritation such as itching, stinging and burning may occur.  Other side effects can include thinning of the skin, changes in skin color or pigmentation and stretch marks. Appearance of blood vessels that have grouped under the skin and excessive hair growth are other potential side effects.  Porlonged use of the cream on large areas of skin may lead to broken or red skin.

A cream with 0.05% betamethasone has been show to be effective in treating phimosis in boys, often removing the need for circumcision.  Betamethasone cream has replaced circumcision as the chosen method of  treatment for some physicians in the British National Health Service.

Other Uses of Betamethasone

Betametasone has been proved to successful in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.


  • Children.  Do not use for longer than 5 days on children’s skin without advice from a doctor.
  • Psoriasis. If you have been prescribed this medicine to treat psoriasis you should have regular check-ups with your doctor. This is because although corticosteroids may be useful for psoriasis in the short-term, they can sometimes make psoriasis worse, and may cause the condition to relapse into generalised pustular psoriasis after the treatment is stopped.

When Not To Use Betnovate Cream

  • Young Children one year old or less.
  • Infections caused by bacteria.
  • Infections caused by fungus (ringworm, thrush etc)
  • Viral infections on the skin (chickenpox)
  • Acne or facial spots
  • Widespread plaque psoriasis.
  • Itching around the anus and genitals.
  • Itching skin that show no sign of inflammation.


If you show any adverse effects from the use of the betamethasone cream, consult your doctor immediately for advice.