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How do OTC products compare to betamethasone topical?

Medically reviewed by Philip Thornton, DipPharm. Last updated on Nov 2, 2022.

Official answer


Topical corticosteroids are available over the counter (OTC) but of only mild potency e.g. hydrocortisone cream. Betamethasone cream is a potent corticosteroid so is restricted to prescription only to ensure that is used safely and appropriately.

If the mild hydrocortisone creams are not effective then it is important to see your doctor for a proper diagnosis to check if a stronger corticosteroid cream or ointment is suitable.

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