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Can Diprolene (betamethasone) cream be used for poison ivy?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on Nov 23, 2020.

Official Answer


Yes, Diprolene can be used to treat poison ivy, if prescribed by your doctor specifically for this use. The brand name product Diprolene (betamethasone dipropionate, augmented 0.05%) is now only available as an ointment, but the generic cream formulation is available at most pharmacies.

The generic name for Diprolene cream is betamethasone dipropionate cream, augmented 0.05%. Augmented forms of prescription topical corticosteroids penetrate the skin more quickly and work faster than non-augmented forms.

Diprolene cream is a high potency topical corticosteroid used on the skin and it requires a prescription.

  • It is approved by the FDA to relieve redness, swelling, heat, pain (inflammation) and itching caused by certain skin conditions in patients 13 years of age or older.
  • Do not use Diprolene in children under 13 years of age. It is much more potent than the hydrocortisone cream you can buy over-the-counter at the store.

Poison ivy is a type of allergic contact dermatitis that is caused by contact with the oily resin called urushiol found in the leaves, stems, sap and roots of poison ivy.

If your symptoms are severe, widespread or on your face or genital areas your doctor may order a 14 to 21 day course of oral corticosteroid such as prednisone. Topical formulations have no effect on skin blisters due to poison ivy once they develop, but may relieve other symptoms such as itching and redness.

How should I apply Diprolene cream?

Use Diprolene Cream only as directed by your healthcare provider. You will have received this most likely as a generic product from the pharmacy by the name of "betamethasone dipropionate cream, augmented 0.05%".

Apply a thin layer of betamethasone dipropionate cream, augmented 0.05% to the affected skin area 1 or 2 times each day. Do not use more than 50 grams of this betamethasone cream in one week.

Do not bandage, cover, or wrap the treated skin area unless your healthcare provider tells you to. Local reactions and skin thinning are more likely to occur with occlusive use, prolonged use or use of higher potency corticosteroids.

Wash your hands after applying betamethasone dipropionate cream, augmented 0.05% unless you are using the medicine to treat your hands. Avoid contact with your eyes.

Do not use betamethasone dipropionate cream, augmented 0.05% for longer than 2 weeks in a row unless your healthcare provider tells you to. Tell your healthcare provider if the treated skin area does not get better after 2 weeks of treatment.

Bottom Line

  • Betamethasone dipropionate cream, augmented 0.05% (Diprolene cream) can be used to treat poison ivy, if prescribed by your doctor for this use.
  • It is considered a high potency corticosteroid and requires a prescription. Do not use in children under 13 years of age.
  • Follow your prescribers directions for use. If your skin condition does not improve after 2 weeks, contact your doctor for further instructions.

This is not all the information you need to know about augmented betamethasone dipropionate 0.05% (Diprolene cream) for safe and effective use. Review the full Diprolene product information here, and discuss this information and any questions you have with your doctor or other health care provider.


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