How long can you use betamethasone cream for?
Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on Jan 6, 2021.
- Betamethasone cream is typically applied to the affected skin areas as a thin film 1 to 2 times per day for up to 2 weeks.
- With some products, your doctor may have you apply it three times per day or for up to 4 weeks. Apply only as directed by your doctor.
- If you do not see any improvement after 2 weeks, contact your healthcare provider to reassess your treatment.
The amount of betamethasone cream you use, or how long you apply it, may be different from other patients. Use for the shortest amount of time needed to treat your skin condition.
Betamethasone cream is used to treat the redness, swelling and itching due to skin conditions that are responsive to topical corticosteroids ("steroids"). These conditions can include eczema, psoriasis, and allergic contact dermatitis. Follow your doctor’s dosing instructions exactly.
How strong is betamethasone cream?
It is important to see your doctor and have the correct strength and form of topical corticosteroid prescribed for your specific condition. Do not use topical corticosteroids on your face, groin, or axillae (underarm area) unless directed by your doctor to use it this way.
Like most topical steroids, betamethasone cream is available in different potencies. Generic options are available for some of these medicines, making them more affordable. Available options include:
- betamethasone valerate cream 0.1% (Valnac, Dermabet) - lower-to-mid potency
- betamethasone dipropionate, cream, hydrophilic emollient 0.05% (generic only) - high potency
- betamethasone dipropionate, augmented cream ointment 0.05% (Diprolene) - super-high potency
Areas without hair, the palms and soles of the feet, and areas with thick skin respond best to cream formulations.
Do not use bandages, wraps or occlusive dressings of any type on the area unless your doctor directs you to do so. Side effects are more likely to occur if the area is covered or wrapped, or with prolonged use or large amounts of high strength medicines.
Learn more: Betamethasone side effects (in more detail)
This is not all the information you need to know about betamethasone cream for safe and effective use. Review the full betamethasone information here, and discuss any questions you have with your doctor or other health care provider.
- Betamethasone product monograph. Drugs.com. https://www.drugs.com/ppa/betamethasone-topical.html
- Ference JD, Last AR. Choosing topical corticosteroids. Am Fam Physician. 2009 Jan 15;79(2):135-40. PMID: 19178066.
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- Betamethasone Information for Consumers
- Betamethasone Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Betamethasone (detailed)