Side Effects of Clobetasol propionate

Clobetasol propionate is a medication that is used to treat various skin conditions. It belongs to a class of medications called corticosteroids. Corticosteroids are hormones that are produced by the body to help regulate many different functions. They are also involved in the body’s response to stress.

What is clobetasol propionate used for?

Clobetasol propionate is used to treat various skin conditions. These include eczema, psoriasis, and other inflammatory skin conditions. Clobetasol propionate can be applied to the skin as a cream, ointment, or solution.


Clobetasol propionate brand names

Clobetasol propionate is the generic name used. Below are a list of the brand names used around the world.


United States and Canada

  • Clobex Lotion, Clobex Shampoo, Clobex Spray, Impelko, Impoyz, Olux, and Olux E

United Kingdom and Europe

  • Dermovate, ClobaDerm and Etrivex


Which body parts should be avoided when using clobetasol propionate?

Clobetasol propionate should be avoided on your eyes, nose, mouth, or vagina. Do not use it on skin areas that have cuts, scrapes, or burns.


How long does clobetasol propionate stay in your system?

The amount of time that clobetasol propionate stays in your system is dependent on the duration of use of the medicine. Some research suggests that suppression of cortisol levels is still apparent 96 hours after topical use of corticosteroid creams, which implies that clobetasol can stay in your system for long periods of time, possibly for up to a few weeks. Clobetasol is not recommended for long term use. More research is required about the half-life of Clobetasol propionate and how long it stays in your system.


According to the NHS, for people who use Clobetasol propionate for extended periods of time (more than 12 months in adults), a withdrawal reaction may occur which can include:

  • redness or changes in skin color (hyperpigmentation)
  • burning, stinging, itching or peeling of the skin, or oozing, open sores


What are the side effects of clobetasol propionate?

According to the, the side effects of clobetasol propionate are as follows:


Common side effects

  • Burning or stinging at the application site


Less common side effects

  • Burning sensation of the skin
  • dry skin
  • flushing or redness of the skin
  • itching, scaling, severe redness, soreness, or swelling of the skin
  • skin irritation
  • skin rash, encrusted, scaly and oozing
  • thinning of the skin with easy bruising, especially when used on the face or where the skin folds together (eg, between the fingers)


Rare side effects

  • Thinning, weakness, or wasting away of the skin
  • Incidence not known
  • Backache
  • blindness
  • blurred vision
  • burning, itching, and pain in hairy areas, or pus at the root of the hair
  • change in vision
  • dry mouth
  • eye pain
  • facial hair growth in females
  • fractures
  • fruit-like breath odor
  • full or round face, neck, or trunk
  • hair loss
  • headache
  • hives
  • increased hunger
  • increased thirst
  • increased urination
  • irritability
  • loss of sexual desire or ability
  • menstrual irregularities
  • muscle wasting
  • nausea
  • redness and scaling around the mouth
  • stomach pain
  • sugar in the urine
  • sweating
  • tearing
  • thinning of the hair
  • troubled breathing
  • unexplained weight loss
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Vomiting

Please check with your doctor if any of the above side effects occur. Side effects are more likely if you’re using it for a very long time, or over a large area, or a super potent steroid.


Why does my skin burn when I apply clobetasol propionate to my skin?


If your skin burns after applying clobetasol propionate to your skin, you may have an allergic reaction to the steroid cream and your skin cannot tolerate it. Cloberasol propionate also contains cetostearyl alcohol which may cause acute allergic reactions.


Which steroid creams are weaker than clobetasol propionate?

Clobetasol propionate is classified as a  Super-potent strength steroid cream. Weaker steroid creams down the topical steroid ladder include: 

  • Amcinonide
  • Betamethasone dipropionate
  • Augmented betamethasone dipropionate
  • Desoximetasone
  • Augmented Diflorasone diacetate
  • Diflorasone diacetate
  • Fluocinonide
  • Halcinonide
  • Mometasone furoate
  • Fluticasone propionate
  • Triamcinolone acetonide 0.5%
  • Betamethasone valerate
  • Fluocinolone acetonide
  • Flurandrenolide
  • Hydrocortisone valerate
  • Triamcinolone acetonide
  • Betamethasone valerate 0.1%
  • Clocortolone pivalate
  • Hydrocortisone butyrate
  • Hydrocortisone probutate
  • Hydrocortisone valerate 0.2%
  • Prednicarbate
  • Alclometasone dipropionate
  • Desonide 0.05%
  • Hydrocortisone 0.5% – 2.5%
  • Hydrocortisone


Which steroid creams are stronger than clobetasol propionate?

Clobetasol propionate sits at the top of the topical steroid potency chart. Different types of augmented betamethasone dipropionate may be stronger.


What happens when you use clobetasol propionate too often?

If you use clobetasol propionate too frequently or for an extended period of time, tolerance or tachyphylaxis to that potency level of steroid cream may develop. Clobetasol propionate is not recommended for extended use which may result in some of the common side effects listed above. Consult with your doctor if you have concerns. 


Does clobetasol propionate cause topical steroid withdrawal?


More research is required to understand the complexity of Topical Steroid Withdrawal and its specific connection to Clobetasol propionate. Clobetasol propionate is a highly potent corticosteroid commonly used for skin conditions and the side effects of discontinuing the use of this topical steroid medicine is yet to be studied.


Throughout online groups and communities, there are serious concerns, accounts, discussions and images about corticosteroid creams (not just clobetasol propionate) causing Topical Steroid Withdrawal. The accounts and experiences of the Topical Steroid Withdrawal community continues to grow and has gathered media wide attention for the aesthetic physical severity of many suffering. 


Topical Steroid Withdrawal is an iatrogenic health phenomena that requires more research and studies. The International Topical Steroid Awareness Network (ITSAN) is currently building a patient registry to begin preliminary studies. 


Is there treatment for Topical Steroid Withdrawal?

Currently, there is no global protocol or medical treatment for topical steroid withdrawal. At TSW Assist, we are identifying crowd sourced insights of products, routines, and therapies that can help manage the inflammation and symptoms during the withdrawal period from topical steroids. Currently, there is no quick cure for Topical Steroid Withdrawal.

Through the community, we are finding insights of the management of the symptoms of TSW, through the tracking of the efficacy of specific products, methods and therapies.

Disclaimer: The information on this website is not medical advice. There is no known medical cure for topical steroid withdrawal, but there are collective methods to manage the symptom and inflammation during the withdrawal period. It should not be mistaken that all usage of steroid creams will cause topical steroid withdrawal. More clinical research is required to understand the cause of Topical Steroid Withdrawal within an individual.


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