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Generic name: clobetasol topical [ kloe-BAY-ta-sol ]
Brand names: Clobex, Clodan, Impoyz, Olux, Olux-E, ... show all 17 brands
Drug class: Topical steroids

Medically reviewed by Philip Thornton, DipPharm. Last updated on Aug 11, 2023.

What is clobetasol?

Clobetasol is used to treat the itching, redness, dryness, crusting, scaling, inflammation, and discomfort of various scalp and skin conditions, including plaque psoriasis (a skin disease in which red, scaly patches form on some areas of the body) and eczema (a skin disease that causes the skin to be dry and itchy and sometimes to develop red, scaly rashes). Clobetasol is also used to treat lichen sclerosus.

Clobetasol is a highly potent corticosteroid that helps reduce inflammation in the body. It works by activating natural substances in the skin to reduce swelling, redness, and itching.

Clobetasol is available in a cream, gel, ointment, lotion, solution, foam, or spray.


Do not use clobetasol topical to treat acne, rosacea, or a rash around the mouth.

Use care when putting on a large part of the skin or where there are open wounds. Talk with the doctor.

Clobetasol may cause harm if swallowed. If swallowed, call a doctor or poison control center right away.

This drug may raise the chance of cataracts or glaucoma. Talk with your doctor.

It may affect growth in children and teens in some cases. They may need regular growth checks.

If you are breast-feeding, do not apply clobetasol cream, gel, ointment, lotion, solution, foam or spray to the nipple or the area around it.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use clobetasol topical if you are allergic to it.

To make sure this drug is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

Steroid medicines can increase the glucose (sugar) levels in your blood or urine. Tell your doctor if you have diabetes.

It is not known whether clobetasol topical will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant.

It may not be safe to breastfeed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk. If you apply this drug to your chest, avoid areas that may come into contact with the baby's mouth.

Clobetasol is not approved for use by anyone younger than 12 years old. Some brands or forms of this medicine are for use only in adults 18 and over.

Children can absorb larger amounts of this medicine through the skin and may be more likely to have side effects.

How should I use clobetasol?

Use this drug exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets.

Do not take by mouth. Topical medicine is for use only on the skin. Rinse with water if this medicine gets in your eyes or mouth.

Do not use clobetasol on broken or infected skin. Also avoid using this medicine in open wounds.

Wash your hands before and after using this drug, unless you are using the medicine to treat the skin on your hands.

Apply a thin layer of medicine to the affected skin and rub it in gently. Do not apply this medicine over a large area of skin unless your doctor has told you to.

Do not cover the treated skin area with a bandage or other covering unless your doctor tells you to. Covering treated areas can increase the amount of medicine absorbed through your skin and may cause harmful effects.

If you are treating the diaper area, do not use plastic pants or tight-fitting diapers.

This medicine is for short-term use only (2 weeks, or up to 4 weeks for scalp psoriasis). Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.

If you use clobetasol to treat plaque psoriasis, you should stop using the medicine once your skin symptoms are controlled.

Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse.

You should not stop using this drug suddenly. Follow your doctor's instructions about tapering your dose.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep from freezing.

Clobetasol foam is flammable. Do not use near high heat or open flame. Do not smoke until the foam has completely dried on your skin.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Apply the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not apply two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222 if anyone has accidentally swallowed the medication.

High doses or long-term use of clobetasol can lead to thinning skin, easy bruising, changes in body fat (especially in your face, neck, back, and waist), increased acne or facial hair, menstrual problems, impotence, or loss of interest in sex.

What should I avoid while using clobetasol?

Avoid applying clobetasol topical to your face, underarms, or groin area. However, clobetasol can be applied to the groin area, under strict medical supervision, to treat lichen sclerosus.

Do not use this medicine to treat any condition that has not been checked by your doctor.

Avoid using other topical steroid medications on the areas you treat with clobetasol unless your doctor tells you to.

Clobetasol side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to clobetasol: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

Common side effects may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect clobetasol?

Medicine used on the skin is not likely to be affected by other drugs you use. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Popular FAQ

Clobetasol can stimulate hair growth. Regrowth may be noticed as early as six weeks into treatment but may take up to 12 to 14 weeks to occur. In some people, hair regrowth does not persist long-term. Clobetasol should only be used for hair loss associated with inflammatory conditions of the scalp such as alopecia areata, scarring alopecia, psoriasis, eczema, or dermatitis. Hair loss or hair thinning may also occur, but this is a very rare side effect and is estimated to occur in only 1 out of every 300 people who use clobetasol. Clobetasol is a potent topical steroid and is not a good option for hair and scalp conditions that are not associated with inflammation. Continue reading

Clobetasol is effective at stimulating hair growth. Research has shown hair regrowth was stimulated in about 20 to 25% of people who used clobetasol ointment and in about 47% of people who used clobetasol foam. Regrowth was noticed as early as six weeks into treatment but may take up to 12 to 14 weeks to develop. Continue reading

It takes about one to three days for clobetasol propionate to start working when it is being used to treat eczema. Some improvement in symptoms such as inflammation (redness) and itching, should be noticed within this time. Other symptoms, such as dryness, crusting, or scaling may take a bit longer to resolve, but improvement should occur within a week. Continue reading

Topical clobetasol (Clobex, Impoyz, generics) is considered a very high potency topical corticosteroid (“steroid”) used on the skin, while triamcinolone (Kenalog, Triderm, generics) is a medium-to-low potency medicine. These prescription products may be used to treat conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, skin allergies or rashes or serious insect bites. Continue reading

Halobetasol and clobetasol are both classified as super high-potency or high-potency topical corticosteroid (“steroid”) creams used on the skin. They are both FDA-approved to treat plaque psoriasis and skin conditions that are responsive to topical corticosteroids, such as dermatitis and eczema (atopic dermatitis). They lessen skin redness and pain, itching, dryness and scaling. Continue reading

Clobetasol should not be used to treat toenail fungus, but it may be used to treat toenail psoriasis, which can resemble toenail fungus. Around 30% of people with nail psoriasis also have a fungal nail infection. Using clobetasol alone to treat toenail fungus may cause the toenail fungus to worsen and spread to other nails. Continue reading

Clobetasone propionate may be used to treat poison ivy rash if it has not yet blistered, or the rash is confined to a small area and oral corticosteroids are contraindicated. Clobetasone propionate is a super potent topical corticosteroid cream that is only approved for adults and children over the age of 12. Treatment should not exceed two weeks and no more than 50g of clobetasol propionate should be used over one week. Continue reading

It is unknown how long clobetasol stays in your system because the half-life of the drug is not available through any reference source. Some researchers have found that suppression of cortisol levels is still apparent 96 hours after topical use of this medicine, 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 to be used for more than two consecutive weeks. Continue reading

Impoyz (clobetasol) topical cream is typically applied as a thin layer to the affected skin areas 2 times each day. Rub the cream in gently and completely. Ask your doctor how much cream to use, where to apply it, and for how long. Always use Impoyz cream exactly as your doctor tells you to use it. Continue reading

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Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use clobetasol topical only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.