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Betnovate 0.1% ointment / cream

Betnovate 0.1% ointment / cream: Unlock the power of potent topical therapy with Betnovate, containing 0.1% betamethasone valerate for the effective treatment of moderate to severe eczema. Manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, this corticosteroid medication is available in both cream and ointment forms to help reduce inflammation, redness, and itching on the body, arms, and legs. Ideal for individuals seeking significant relief from persistent eczema symptoms.

Betnovate 0.1% ointment / cream


Product Information

Betnovate 0.1% ointment / cream

Betnovate 0.1% ointment / cream is a potent steroid for once or twice daily treatment to moderately severe eczema, on the body, arms, and legs. It is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline and contains the active ingredient betamethasone valerate 0.1%. Betnovate and generic betamethasone are both available from Dr Fox as a cream or an ointment and are also known as Betnovate C.


About eczema

Eczema is a condition with areas of dry inflamed skin. Inflammation and loss of natural skin oils causes drying out of the skin. Dry skin is not an effective barrier to keeping toxins and irritants out of the body. This then leads to further inflammation and a cycle of drying, inflammation, and more drying.


Treating eczema

Eczema is best treated with frequent use of moisturising emollients, but in most cases, there will be a time when this is not enough to control the sore inflamed skin. Adding a steroid cream or ointment like Betnovate will reduce skin inflammation and enable you to regain control. Betnovate should be used if the eczema is moderate or moderately severe.


How to use Betnovate 0.1% ointment / cream

Betnovate 0.1% ointment / cream should be applied once or twice a day, using it less frequently once the skin begins to get better. Moisturising emollients should be continued whilst using Betnovate. Apply your usual emollient and wait at least 15 minutes before applying the Betnovate. Apply a thin amount of Betnovate being guided by the fingertip units for the area affected.

Moisturising emollients (lotions, creams, and ointments) restore softening oils to the skin and rehydrate it. Ointments have a stronger protective barrier effect, so Betnovate ointment is more effective than Betnovate cream. The ointment can feel greasier and look shiny on the skin so may be better used at night.

Use the Betnovate 0.1% ointment / cream until the eczema has completely settled. This may only take a couple of days, or a bit longer, but do not use for more than 4 weeks at a time.

Once eczema has settled, continue frequent moisturising emollient use to reduce the risk of a flare-up and the need to use Betnovate cream or ointment again.

Do not use more Betnovate 0.1% ointment / cream, or apply for longer than recommended as this increases the risk of side effects.


Cautions and side effects

Betnovate 0.1% ointment / cream is too strong to use on the face. It should only be used on eczema on the torso, arms, and legs.

Betnovate 0.1% ointment / cream contains flammable paraffin. The paraffin may be absorbed in clothing and bedding, which should be washed regularly to reduce fire risk. Keep away from naked flames.

Rarely other ingredients in Betnovate may cause skin reactions. If eczema worsens when using Betnovate, stop the treatment and consult your GP or skin specialist.

Overusing Betnovate on the skin may cause skin thinning and stretch marks. This is much more of a problem if using steroids as tablets or injections for conditions other than eczema. Betnovate should be used for the shortest time necessary to control the eczema and not for longer than 4 weeks at a time. If eczema is not settling consult your GP or skin specialist.

Steroid tablet use has been linked with development of cataracts and other problems in the eyes. This is extremely unlikely with Betnovate but if you develop any blurring of vision consult your GP.

Covering the skin after applying treatment, with bandages or gloves is not recommended as in theory it can lead to absorption into the body and more general side effects, including in extreme cases, Cushing’s syndrome.

Further information on side effects can be found in the manufacturer’s patient leaflets.

When NOT to use Betnovate 0.1% ointment / cream

Do not use Betnovate cream or ointment if:

  • Eczema is on the face.
  • You have not had a medical diagnosis of eczema.
  • There are signs of infected skin: pus, weeping, swollen, tender, throbbing, spreading redness.
  • You have active cold sores, herpes, shingles, or chickenpox.
  • On broken skin or near active leg ulcers.


Pregnancy and breastfeeding

It is recommended to avoid all medicines when pregnant or breastfeeding. However, it is probably safe to use small amounts of Betnovate 0.1% ointment / cream on eczema during pregnancy, or when breastfeeding (but not on the breasts).

Discuss first with your GP. Dr Fox does not prescribe for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

See also Best use of medicines in pregnancy – Corticosteroids.

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