Valisone Side Effects

Generic Name: betamethasone topical

Note: This page contains side effects data for the generic drug betamethasone topical. It is possible that some of the dosage forms included below may not apply to the brand name Valisone.

It is possible that some side effects of Valisone may not have been reported. These can be reported to the FDA here. Always consult a healthcare professional for medical advice.

For the Consumer

Applies to betamethasone topical: topical application cream, topical application lotion, topical application ointment, topical application spray

As well as its needed effects, betamethasone topical (the active ingredient contained in Valisone) may cause unwanted side effects that require medical attention.

If any of the following side effects occur while taking betamethasone topical, check with your doctor immediately:

More common
  • Burning or stinging
Less common
  • Blistering, burning, crusting, dryness, or flaking of the skin
  • cracking or tightening of the skin
  • dry skin
  • flushing or redness of the skin
  • irritation
  • itching, scaling, severe redness, soreness, or swelling of the skin
  • thinning of the skin with easy bruising, especially when used on the face or where the skin folds together (e.g. between the fingers)
  • unusually warm skin
  • Blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
Incidence not known
  • Redness and scaling around the mouth

Some betamethasone topical side effects may not need any medical attention. As your body gets used to the medicine these side effects may disappear. Your health care professional may be able to help you prevent or reduce these side effects, but do check with them if any of the following side effects continue, or if you are concerned about them:

Less common
  • Raised, dark red, or wart-like spots on the skin, especially when used on the face
  • Burning, itching, and pain in hairy areas, or pus at the root of the hair
Incidence not known
  • Acne or pimples
  • burning and itching of the skin with pinhead-sized red blisters
  • increased hair growth on the forehead, back, arms, and legs
  • lightening of normal skin color
  • lightening of treated areas of dark skin
  • reddish purple lines on the arms, face, legs, trunk, or groin
  • softening of the skin

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to betamethasone topical: topical cream, topical foam, topical gel, topical lotion, topical ointment, topical spray


Skin atrophy may become evident within one to two months of use and is due to the inhibitory effect of corticosteroids on collagen formation. Skin on the face, axilla, and groin appear to be most susceptible to the adverse long-term effects of topical betamethasone. Use of high potency topical corticosteroids on these areas should be minimized or avoided.

Topical corticosteroid use may impair local immune response rendering the skin more susceptible to infections. Folliculitis has occasionally been reported.

Perioral dermatitis or rosacea-like dermatitis has occurred in patients treated with potent topical corticosteroids. These conditions may flare temporarily upon discontinuation of topical steroids, prompting patients to continue their use. If topical corticosteroids are discontinued, this flare and the initial dermatitis generally resolve over a few weeks.

Worsening of psoriasis has occurred in a few patients.

Local side effects have included burning, itching, dryness, and irritation, especially when applied to denuded skin. Long-term use of topical corticosteroids may result in skin atrophy and thinning, and the development of striae, telangiectasia, subcutaneous hemorrhage, and easy bruising and bleeding. Allergic contact dermatitis has occasionally been reported.


Adrenal suppression has been reported in patients with psoriasis using augmented betamethasone dipropionate at doses of approximately 50 grams per week. Plasma cortisol concentrations generally return to normal within one to two weeks following discontinuation of the drug, and in some cases return to normal during continued therapy. In a few cases adrenal failure has persisted up to four months.

If betamethasone dipropionate is to be used for an extended period of time, adrenal function should be evaluated periodically. Supplemental systemic steroids may be necessary during times of stress. Other less potent forms of betamethasone may cause adrenal suppression if used on large areas or with occlusive dressings.

Endocrine side effects have included suppression of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, resulting in cushingoid features and symptoms of adrenal suppression following withdrawal of the drug. These effects are more likely when higher potency topical corticosteroids are used over extensive areas or when occlusive dressing are used. In addition, augmented betamethasone, and the ointment and emollient cream formulation of betamethasone generally provide better penetration, and thus, higher risk of adrenal suppression.


Steroid-induced cataracts and glaucoma have been reported, most often in patients receiving betamethasone eyedrops (not available in the US). In one patient, permanent eye damage resulted from long term application of betamethasone cream to the eyelids.

Ocular side effects have included rare reports of glaucoma in patients using betamethasone on the face for long periods of time. Intraocular pressure does not always return to normal following discontinuation of the drug.


Musculoskeletal side effects have included rare reports of osteoporosis. Avascular necrosis of the hips and vertebral fractures have been documented.


Dermatologic side effects have included erythema, folliculitis, pruritus, acneiform eruptions, hypopigmentation, perioral dermatitis, allergic contact dermatitis, secondary infection, miliaria, hypertrichosis, and vesiculation.

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