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How often should you apply betamethasone cream?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on Nov 30, 2022.

Official answer


Key Points

Betamethasone cream is typically applied to the affected skin area 1 to 2 times per day for up to 2 weeks. In some cases, your doctor may have you apply it 3 times per day or for up to 4 weeks. Your dose 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. These conditions can include eczema, psoriasis, and allergic contact dermatitis, among others. Follow your doctor’s dosing instructions exactly.

Betamethasone is also available as a topical foam (Luxiq), spray (Sernivo), lotion, and ointment.

Is betamethasone cream strong?

In the US, there is a special classification system used to help compare the strengths of topical corticosteroid creams, ranging from super-high potency (Group 1) to least potent (Group 7).

More potent creams can be associated with a higher risk for side effects, and can be especially problematic in areas such as the face, groin, underarms, lips, or around your eyes. This is why it is important to see your doctor and have the correct strength of betamethasone prescribed.

Betamethasone cream is available in two different potencies. Generic options are available for these medicines, making them more affordable. Products include:

  • betamethasone valerate cream 0.1% - lower-mid potency, Group 5; (Valnac, Dermabet)
  • betamethasone dipropionate, cream, hydrophilic emollient 0.05% - high potency, Group 3
  • betamethasone dipropionate, augmented cream 0.05% - super-high potency, Group 1; (Diprolene)

Learn more: What does augmented mean in betamethasone?

How do I apply betamethasone cream?

  • Use exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after using this medicine. Apply a thin layer of cream to the affected area of the skin and gently rub it in.
  • Only use topical steroids on your face, groin, or axillae (underarms) if directed by your doctor.
  • Do not use bandages or occlusive dressings unless your doctor directs you to do so. Side effects are more likely to occur if the area is covered with an occlusive dressing (wrap) or with extensive or prolonged use of high strength medicines.
  • Areas without hair, or the palms and soles of the feet, and other areas with thick skin respond best to cream formulations.

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.

  • Brod B, et al. Management of allergic contact dermatitis. Up to Date.
  • Ference JD, Last AR. Choosing topical corticosteroids. Am Fam Physician. 2009 Jan 15;79(2):135-40. PMID: 19178066.
  • Betamethasone product monograph.

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