Dermovate Ointment 0.05%
Dermovate ointment is applied to the skin to reduce inflammation in conditions such as eczema, dermatitis and allergic skin reactions. They include medicines such as hydrocortisone, betamethasone and clobetasol.
Ointments are more greasy than creams. They are preferable if your skin is dry, whereas moist or weepy skin is best treated with a cream. Using a cream or ointment allows the medicine to be applied directly to the inflamed area of skin.
The most important thing to remember with topical corticosteroid creams and ointments is to apply them very thinly. This minimises the amount absorbed through the skin into the body.
How to use your topical corticosteroid cream or ointment
- The first time you take the cap off the cream or ointment you may find the end of the tube is sealed. You can pierce this seal by inverting the cap of the tube and pushing it into the end of the tube.
- Wash the affected area(s) of skin well and rinse away all traces of soap or cleanser.
- Pat the skin dry rather than rubbing it.
- Apply the cream or ointment thinly and evenly to the affected area(s).
- Gently massage the cream or ointment into the skin until it has all disappeared.
- Replace the cap on the tube.
- Wash your hands after applying the cream or ointment, unless the hands are the affected area.
- Topical corticosteroids should not be applied more than twice a day and once a day may often be sufficient. Follow the instructions your doctor or pharmacist gives you.
- If you have other creams, ointments or lotions to use on the same area of skin you should try and leave about half an hour between applying each one so that they don’t mix on the skin.
How much should you use?
You can measure the amount required to “apply thinly” in terms of the length of cream or ointment squeezed out of the tube. This is measured in fingertip units. One fingertip unit is the distance from the tip of an adult index finger to the first crease of that finger.
The table below gives you a rough guide of how much cream or ointment to use for an adult. You should use less than this for smaller adults and children.
Don’t worry if you have to use more or less than this – it is a rough guide based on average adult body size.
|Affected body area||Quantity of cream or ointment to use for adults|
|Both sides of one hand||One fingertip unit|
|One foot||Two fingertip units|
|One arm||Three fingertip units|
|One leg||Six fingertip units|
|Chest and abdomen||Seven fingertip units|
|Back and buttocks||Seven fingertip units|
What is Dermovate Ointment used for?
Dermovate cream and ointment are used in short courses to treat severe inflammatory skin disorders, such as those below, when milder corticosteroids have not been effective.
- Skin disorder called lichen planus, in which there are patches on the skin that appear as flat-topped, shiny, almost violet itchy areas.
- Skin disorder called discoid lupus erythematosus, which is caused by the immune system attacking the skin.
How does Dermovate Ointment work?
Dermovate cream and ointment both contain the active ingredient clobetasol propionate, which is a type of medicine called a topical corticosteroid.
Corticosteroids (also known as steroids) are medicines used for reducing inflammation. Skin inflammation may occur as a result of an allergic reaction, or irritation of the skin. It is caused by the immune system releasing substances that make blood vessels in the skin widen. This makes the irritated area become red, swollen, itchy and painful, as is seen in dermatitis or eczema.
When clobetasol is applied to the skin it works by acting inside the skin cells to decrease the release of these inflammatory substances. This reduces swelling, redness and itch.
There is a range of potencies of corticosteroids applied to the skin. Clobetasol propionate is classed as a very potent corticosteroid. It is prescribed to treat severe inflammatory skin disorders such as eczema and psoriasis that have not responded to weaker corticosteroids.
Dermovate ointment is more greasy than the cream. It is more suitable for very dry, scaly areas of skin, whereas moist or weepy skin is best treated with the cream.
How do I use Dermovate Ointment ?
- Dermovate cream or ointment should be applied thinly to the affected areas of skin once or twice a day to start with. As soon as the condition starts to improve, you should use it less frequently, as directed by your doctor. Click here to see how much to use.
- If your doctor has advised you to use dressings with this medicine, the skin should be cleansed before applying the cream or ointment under a fresh dressing.
- Take care to avoid getting the cream or ointment in the eyes, or inside the mouth or nose. Rinse with cold water if you accidentally get it in these areas.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after applying this medicine, unless the hands are the area being treated.
- Dermovate should not be used for longer than four weeks at a time. However, if you are applying this medicine to the face or to a child’s skin, it should preferably not be used for longer than five days at a time. If your skin condition has not improved after two to four weeks of treatment you should consult your doctor. Repeat courses maybe necessary to control flare-ups of your skin condition, but should only be started on the advice of your doctor.
- Don’t use this medicine more often or for longer than advised by your doctor.
- Don’t apply your moisturisers to the same area of skin at the same time as this medicine. Try to leave at least 30 minutes between applying moisturisers and this medicine, as otherwise the moisturiser could dilute the corticosteroid and potentially make it less effective.
Important information about Dermovate Ointment
- Dermovate cream and ointment are for external use on the affected areas of skin only.
- You should never use Dermovate as a moisturiser.
- If corticosteroids are used long-term, on large areas of skin, raw or broken skin, skin folds, or under airtight dressings they are absorbed into the body more. This increases the risk of local side effects such as skin thinning, and those on other parts of the body, such as a decrease in the production of natural hormones by the adrenal glands. For this reason, continuous, long-term use of this medicine should be avoided wherever possible, particularly in children and on large areas of skin. You should only use airtight dressings over the affected area if instructed by your doctor. If there is no improvement in your skin after two to four weeks of treatment you should consult your doctor.
- If this medicine is used on the face, wherever possible it should not be used for longer than five days. You should not use airtight dressings to cover the area treated.
- If used in children, wherever possible this medicine should not be used for longer than five days, or on the face. You should not use airtight dressings to cover the area treated. Be aware that children’s nappies can also act as an airtight dressing and can increase the absorption of the medicine. Children being treated with this medicine should be reviewed by the doctor at least once a week.
- If you think the area of skin you are treating has become infected you should stop using this medicine and consult your doctor.
Dermovate Ointment should be used with caution in
- Children (see warnings above).
- Psoriasis. If you have been prescribed this medicine to treat psoriasis you should have regular check-ups with your doctor. This is because although corticosteroids may be useful for psoriasis in the short-term, they can sometimes make psoriasis worse, and may cause the condition to relapse into generalised pustular psoriasis after the treatment is stopped.
Dermovate Ointment should not be used in
- Children less than one year of age.
- Viral skin infections, such as chickenpox, shingles, cold sores or herpes simplex.
- Bacterial skin infections, such as impetigo.
- Fungal skin infections such as thrush, ringworm, athlete’s foot.
- Chronic inflammatory disorder of the facial skin (acne rosacea).
- Inflammatory rash around the mouth (perioral dermatitis).
- Itching around the back passage and genitals.
- Widespread plaque psoriasis.
This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.
If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.