This page is for informational purposes only

Betamethasone cream

Available in 30g and 100g

  • Topical steroid cream for skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and contact dermatitis. 
  • Contains betamethasone valerate
  • Always read the patient information leaflet before use. 
Upon completion of a medical consultation with one of our health care professionals you can expect prices to start from £13.99
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Checked for Accuracy by James O'Loan . CEO & Prescribing Pharmacist . on 20/09/2021

What is betamethasone cream? 

Betamethasone cream is a topical steroid treatment that can reduce inflamed skin, redness and itchiness caused by skin conditions like eczema. A topical treatment refers to something that is applied to the skin. Betamethasone is stronger than other eczema treatments, such as hydrocortisone creams, therefore it is usually only prescribed when other treatments haven’t worked.  

How should this product be used? 

Adults and children over the age of 1 can use this cream. Make sure to wash your hands before (and after) use each time, then apply the cream in a thin layer onto the problem area and gently rub it in. To measure how much cream to use, use your fingertip for reference. 

For adults and older children, you should follow the guidance below on how much betamethasone cream to use on different parts of the body. You don’t need to worry too much if you need to apply a little more or less than what’s stated in these guidelines, it may be slightly different from person to person. 

  • Face and neck: 2½ fingertip units

  • Back: 7 fingertip units

  • Front: 7 fingertip units

  • One arm (not including the hand): 3 fingertip units

  • Both sides of one hand: 1 fingertip unit

  • One leg (not including the foot): 6 fingertip units

  • One foot: 2 fingertip units

Please note: you should only apply betamethasone cream to your face if your doctor or Chemist4U pharmacist has told you to. If you are applying it to your face, it shouldn’t be used for more than 5 days and you need to make sure it doesn’t get into your eyes.

For children aged 1-10, follow the guidance in this table depending on their age. Each number refers to how many fingertip units are needed: 

Child’s ageFace & NeckArm & HandLeg & FootFrontBack
1-2 years 2 2 3
3-5 years 2 3 3
6-10 years 2 5

You should follow your doctor or Chemist4U pharmacist’s advice on how often to use the cream, but for most people, it’s usually once or twice a day. Don’t use betamethasone cream on large areas of the body for more than a few weeks, especially if the cream is being used to treat a child. For children, betamethasone should be used for no longer than a period of 5 days. 

If you’re applying this cream to your child and not yourself, you should wear disposable gloves or wash your hands thoroughly before and after using the cream. Don’t cover the treated area with a nappy or a dressing afterwards, as your child’s skin will need space to breathe. 

How does betamethasone cream help eczema? 

Betamethasone cream is a steroid, also known as a corticosteroid. This is not the same as the types of steroids used by the likes of bodybuilders to gain muscle - they are called anabolic steroids. Betamethasone works by activating natural substances in the skin to reduce swelling, redness and itching, helping people with skin conditions such as eczema, contact dermatitis and psoriasis. It will not help conditions like acne or rosacea. 

What is eczema? 

Eczema is a common condition that causes the skin to become dry, inflamed, itchy or have a rash-like appearance. There are seven types of eczema, but the most common is called atopic dermatitis or atopic eczema. It can affect any part of the body, but the most common areas to be infected are: 

  • Back or fronts of the knees

  • Outside or inside of the elbows

  • Around the neck

  • Hands

  • Cheeks

  • Scalp

The exact cause of atopic eczema is not yet known, but it most often occurs in people with allergies, asthma, or those with a family history of eczema. Severe eczema can have a really negative impact on daily life, so treatments like betamethasone cream are often needed to relieve the pain and discomfort caused by the condition. 

When should betamethasone not be used? 

Betamethasone cream is a prescription-only treatment, and it should only be used with your doctor or Chemist4U pharmacist’s advice. You must not use betamethasone cream:

  • If you are allergic to betamethasone valerate or any of the other ingredients
  • On infants under one year of age
  • On areas of skin that have the following conditions: acne, rosacea, peri-oral dermatitis, skin infections caused by viruses, bacteria or fungi (such as cold sores, herpes, chickenpox, impetigo, ringworm, athlete’s foot, thrush), areas of itchiness where the skin is not inflamed, areas of skin other than those that you showed to your doctor
  • Around the anus (back passage) or on the genitals (private parts) unless your doctor has told you to do so. 

You should take special care and talk to your doctor or Chemist4U pharmacist before taking betamethasone cream: 

  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to other creams or ointments in the past

  • If you will be using the cream around a leg ulcer you have had for a long time

  • If you will be using the cream on your face, where the skin thins easily

  • If you will be using the cream specifically for psoriasis

  • If you will be applying the cream under an airtight dressing or a child’s nappy

  • If you will be applying the cream to a large surface area

  • If you will be applying the cream to broken skin or within the skin folds

  • If you will be applying the cream near the eyes or eyelids - cataracts or glaucoma may result if the cream repeatedly enters the eye

  • If you have an infection of the skin

  • If you are taking any other medicines, particularly ritonavir and itraconazole medications

  • If you are pregnant or planning to have a baby

  • If you are breastfeeding

Are there any side effects?

Betamethasone cream is a medicine, and all medicines come with the possibility of side effects. If you notice symptoms of an allergic reaction, or have psoriasis and find pus-filled bumps under the skin, stop using betamethasone cream and speak to your doctor immediately. 

A common side effect you may notice is a feeling of burning, pain, irritation or itching where betamethasone cream is applied. This can affect up to 1 in 10 people. 

Very rare side effects that may affect up to 1 in 10000 people include: 

  • An increased risk of infection

  • An allergic skin reaction where the cream is applied

  • Rash, itchy bumpy skin or redness of the skin 

  • Thinning and dryness of your skin and may also damage or wrinkle more easily

  • Stretch marks may develop

  • Blood vessels under the surface of your skin may become more noticeable

  • An increase or reduction in hair growth or hair loss and changes in skin colour

  • Weight gain or rounding of the face

  • Delayed weight gain or slowing of growth in children

  • Bones can become thin, weak and break easily

  • A cloudy lens in the eye (cataract) or increased pressure in the eye (glaucoma)

  • A decrease in the level of the hormone cortisol in your blood

  • Increased blood sugar levels or sugar in the urine

  • High blood pressure

  • Blurred vision (it is unknown how many people this may affect)

If you experience any side effects, including any not included in the patient information leaflet, you can report them using the MHRA Yellow Card Scheme

Do I need a prescription for betamethasone cream?

You do need a prescription for betamethasone cream in the UK. Our healthcare professionals can provide prescriptions if they think this treatment would be right for you and your condition. When you click the button which reads “Start Consultation” at the top of this page, you’ll see a short questionnaire set up by our healthcare team which is designed to help them understand your medical needs. Just like an in-person consultation with your GP, our doctors will assess your answers to their questions and write a prescription for the treatment they think will be best for you. You’ll then be able to pay for your medication and we’ll send it out to you quickly and in discreet packaging.

Storage information

Do not store above 25˚C and keep out of sight and reach of children. Store in a cool, dry area away from direct sunlight and never use the cream after the expiry date that is printed on the tube or carton. 

Important information

This product is a medicine; make sure to speak to your doctor or Chemist4U pharmacist before taking this product if you have an underlying medical problem or are taking any other medicine or complementary therapy. If your symptoms get worse or continue after taking this product, contact us or your doctor. For medical services in your area, please refer to https://www.nhs.uk

If you are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, speak to your doctor or our pharmacist before taking this product. If you suffer from any allergies, ask your doctor or our pharmacist if this medicine is right for you.

Store all medicines out of sight and reach of children.

Please read the included leaflet carefully before using this product.

Please contact your GP if appropriate regarding this product.


Helpful Advice on Medication Restrictions & Addiction

For further information on our medication restrictions policy, please click here.

If you are concerned about addiction to 'over the counter' medication, we urge you to visit the below links for professional help and advice:

NHS Help & Advice on Drug Addiction

Talk To Frank - Drug Addiction Help & Support

Everything You Need to Know About Eczema

If you have dry skin that always seems to happen in the same area and drives you up the wall with that itchy, scratchy feeling, then you could have eczema.

But what is eczema, and what makes this condition different from just regular patches of dry skin?

Today, we’re going to find out more about eczema, what it is, and what it means for your skin.

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Having a skin condition is uncomfortable for a number of reasons. It looks unpleasant, it can be itchy, irritating and be extremely sensitive. These conditions can be caused by a number of different conditions, but they can be treated in a number of different ways as well.

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