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Halobetasol Topical

Generic name: halobetasol topical [ HAL-oh-BAY-ta-sol ]
Brand names: Bryhali, Lexette, Ultravate, Ultravate X Ointment, Ultravate X Cream
Dosage forms: topical cream (0.05%), topical foam (0.05%), topical kit (0.05%), topical lotion (0.01%; 0.05%), topical ointment (0.05%)
Drug class: Topical steroids

Medically reviewed by Philip Thornton, DipPharm. Last updated on Mar 15, 2023.

What is halobetasol topical?

Halobetasol is a highly potency corticosteroid medicine that helps reduce inflammation in the body.

Halobetasol topical (for the skin) is used to treat inflammation and itching caused by plaque psoriasis or other inflamed and itchy skin conditions that respond to corticosteroid medication.

Halobetasol topical is available as a cream, ointment, lotion, or foam.


Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use halobetasol if you are allergic to it.

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

  • any type of skin infection;

  • a skin reaction to any steroid medicine;

  • an adrenal gland disorder;

  • liver disease; or

  • if you plan to have surgery.

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 halobetasol 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 halobetasol to your chest, avoid areas that may come into contact with the baby's mouth.

Halobetasol topical 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 halobetasol through the skin and may be more likely to have side effects.

How should I use halobetasol topical?

Use halobetasol 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. Do not use on open wounds or on sunburned, windburned, dry, or irritated skin. Rinse with water if halobetasol gets in your eyes or mouth.

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

Shake the foam before each use.

Apply a thin layer of halobetasol topical 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.

Halobetasol is for short-term use only (2 weeks, or up to 8 weeks for psoriasis). Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.

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

You may need medical tests to be sure halobetasol is not causing harmful effects.

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

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

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not freeze.

Keep halobetasol topical foam away from open flame or high heat. The canister may explode if it gets too hot. Do not puncture or burn an empty canister.

Dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Dermatitis:

Apply a thin layer to affected area once or twice a day

Usual Adult Dose for Eczema:

Apply a thin layer to affected area once or twice a day

Usual Adult Dose for Psoriasis:

Apply a thin layer to affected area once or twice a day

Usual Pediatric Dose for Dermatitis:

12 years or older:
Apply a thin layer to affected area once or twice a day

Usual Pediatric Dose for Eczema:

12 years or older:
Apply a thin layer to affected area once or twice a day

Usual Pediatric Dose for Psoriasis:

12 years or older:
Apply a thin layer to affected area once or twice a day

-Treatment should be limited to two weeks.
-Use should be limited to 50 g a week.
-Use should be discontinued when control is achieved.
-Reassessment of diagnosis may be needed, if no improvement is seen in two weeks.
-This topical drug should not be used with occlusive dressings.

Use: Relief of inflammatory and pruritic manifestations of corticosteroid-responsive dermatoses

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 halobetasol topical 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 halobetasol topical?

Avoid applying halobetasol topical to your face, scalp, underarms, or groin area.

Do not use halobetasol topical to treat any skin condition that has not been checked by your doctor.

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

Halobetasol topical side effects

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

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • worsening of your skin condition;

  • redness, warmth, swelling, oozing, or severe irritation of any treated skin;

  • blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain, or seeing halos around lights;

  • high blood sugar - increased thirst, increased urination, dry mouth, fruity breath odor; or

  • possible signs of absorbing this medicine through your skin - weight gain (especially in your face or your upper back and torso), slow wound healing, thinning or discolored skin, increased body hair, muscle weakness, nausea, diarrhea, tiredness, mood changes, menstrual changes, sexual changes.

Common halobetasol side effects may include:

  • burning, stinging, itching, or dryness of treated skin;

  • pain where the foam was applied;

  • redness or crusting around your hair follicles;

  • stretch marks;

  • spider veins;

  • headache; or

  • cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat.

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 halobetasol topical?

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 healthcare providers about all medicines you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Popular FAQ

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

No, halobetasol propionate is not available as an over-the-counter (OTC) product. Topical halobetasol is a highly potent prescription medicine used on the skin that reduces inflammation in psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis and other corticosteroid-responsive conditions. Continue reading

Which topical corticosteroid (“steroid”) product is best for you depends upon what skin condition you have, your symptoms and where it is located on your body. Other selection factors may include availability, cost and if the medicine is covered by your insurance. After examination, your doctor will be able to determine which topical steroid is best to treat your skin condition. Continue reading

Halobetasol can be applied to the skin to treat the redness, itching and swelling caused by poison ivy in patients 12 years of age and older. It is considered a super-high potency topical anti-inflammatory corticosteroid. It requires a prescription and comes as a cream, ointment, foam, or lotion. Generic and brand name products are available. Continue reading

Halobetasol should not be used on the scalp, face, groin or armpit, although it is used on the skin in other areas of the body. Continue reading

Halobetasol should not be used on the face or for acne because it is a super-high potency topical corticosteroid. The skin on the face is quite thin compared with the skin on other areas of the body and using halobetasol on the face can increase the risk of acne and other side effects such as dryness, irritation, itching, redness, red or purple blotches underneath the skin, skin discoloration or thinning, small red or white bumps or a rash around the mouth, or unwanted hair growth. Continue reading

View more FAQ

Further information

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

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