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Does Olux foam cause hair loss?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on Nov 23, 2022.

Official answer


Key Points

Yes, hair thinning and hair loss has been reported as a side effect with the use of clobetasol propionate topical 0.05% (Olux Foam). The number of people that have reported these side effects is not known. This does not appear to be a frequent or serious side effect.

If you experience hair loss due to the use of clobetasol topical products contact your doctor for advice. It may be that a different medicine should be prescribed, or you may need to delay or stop treatment. Never stop using your medicine unless directed to do so by your doctor.

Topical corticosteroids such as clobetasol may help with hair loss in an autoimmune condition known as alopecia areata that usually occurs in patches on the scalp. Even without treatment, hair usually grows back within 12 months or less with this condition.

What are the side effects with Olux foam?

The most common side effects are burning where Olux foam is applied and other application site reactions in patients treated with Olux in nonscalp regions. These occurred in at least 4%, or 4 out of every 100 people. Application site dryness occurred in less than 1% of subjects.

In studies with 188 subjects with psoriasis of the scalp, there were no scalp side effects reported in the subjects treated with Olux Foam.

In larger studies with other clobetasol propionate formulations, side effects at the site of application reported in less than 2% of patients have included:

  • burning
  • stinging
  • irritation
  • itching
  • skin redness
  • hair follicle swelling or infection
  • skin cracking
  • numbness of the fingers
  • skin thinning
  • visible broken capillaries in the skin

Olux and Olux-E Foam (clobetasol propionate 0.05%) are classified as super-high potent aerosol foam topical corticosteroids. These products are approved to treat redness, swelling and itching associated with certain skin and scalp conditions (known as corticosteroid-responsive dermatoses), such as atopic dermatitis (eczema), seborrhea and psoriasis.

Olux Foam may also cause serious side effects because it can pass through your skin and get into your bloodstream. These may include:

  • adrenal glands may stop working
  • Cushing’s syndrome, a condition that happens when the body is exposed to too much of the hormone cortisol
  • high blood sugar (hyperglycemia)
  • vision problems (cataract, glaucoma). Tell your doctor if you develop blurred vision or other vision problems during treatment with Olux Foam.
  • more serious skin reactions at the application. Tell your doctor if you get any skin reactions or skin infections.
  • effects on growth and weight in children.

Your doctor may need to do certain blood tests to check for side effects.

This is not a complete list of side effects or warnings. Review the full Olux product information to see all reported side effects and discuss these with your doctor.


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