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What skin conditions can betamethasone be used for?

Medically reviewed by Carmen Pope, BPharm. Last updated on July 5, 2023.

Official answer


Betamethasone can be used to treat moderate-to-severe eczema or psoriasis. It is a medium-to-high range potency corticosteroid that is only available on prescription. For other conditions, such as mild eczema, irritant dermatitis, or dermatitis on the face, lower potency steroids, such as hydrocortisone, are usually preferred.

Betamethasone is FDA approved for the following skin conditions:

  • Eczema or dermatitis of the skin that is responsive to corticosteroids. For mild eczema/dermatitis or eczema/dermatitis of the face, consider a lower potency corticosteroid, such as hydrocortisone
  • Dermatitis of the scalp: betamethasone foam
  • Plaque psoriasis: May be used in short-courses to manage mild-to-moderate plaque psoriasis in patients aged 18 years and older.

Betamethasone should NOT be used to treat:

  • Acne
  • Bacterial, fungal, or viral skin infections (such as herpes simplex or chickenpox)
  • Eyelid or eye conditions
  • Mild rashes
  • Perioral dermatitis
  • Phimosis (a tight foreskin)
  • Ringworm (unless in combination with an antifungal, although a lower potency corticosteroid is preferred)
  • Rosacea
  • Scabies
  • Skin conditions caused by vaccinations, tuberculosis or syphilis.

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

What symptoms does betamethasone relieve?

Betamethasone reduces inflammation (redness) and itching, and can also relieve dryness, crusting, scaling, and discomfort caused by various skin conditions.

  • Betamethasone Topical Medline Plus
  • Betamethasone topical. Michigan Medicine. The University of Michigan.,such%20as%20eczema%20or%20psoriasis.
  • Betamethasone Valerate topical,to%20have%20medium%2Drange%20potency.&text=Ointment%20(0.05%25%20betamethasone%20dipropionate),to%20have%20high%2Drange%20potency.&text=Cream%2C%20lotion%2C%20and%20ointment%20(,to%20have%20high%2Drange%20potency

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