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Eumovate ointment / cream

Eumovate ointment / cream: Ideal for treating mild eczema, Hydrocortisone 1% is a low-potency steroid that effectively reduces skin inflammation and irritation. Available as both cream and ointment, it’s specifically recommended for eczema on delicate areas like the eyelids and face, providing relief and aiding in skin recovery when used alongside moisturizing emollients.

Eumovate ointment / cream


Product Information

Eumovate ointment / cream

Eumovate is a moderate-potency steroid for treating moderate eczema, on the body, arms, and legs. It is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline and contains the active ingredient 0.05% clobetasone butyrate. Eumovate is available from Dr Fox as a cream or an ointment.

About eczema

In eczema there is inflammation and loss of natural skin oils which 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. These dry inflamed skin patches are called eczema.

Treating eczema

Eczema is best treated with frequent use of moisturising emollients, and this will often settle the inflammation. In most cases though, there will be a time when this is not enough to completely control the sore inflamed skin. Adding a steroid cream or ointment like Eumovate will reduce the skin inflammation and enable the skin to recover.

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

How to use Eumovate ointment / cream

Moisturising emollients should be continued whilst using Eumovate and afterward. This will reduce the number of flare-ups of eczema and reduce the overall need to use Eumovate. Apply your usual emollient and wait at least 15 minutes before applying the Eumovate. Apply a thin amount of steroid being guided by the fingertip units for the area affected.

Eumovate should be applied once or twice a day, using it less frequently once the skin begins to get better.

Use the Eumovate cream or ointment until the eczema has 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.

Do not use more steroid cream or ointment for longer than recommended as this increases the risk of side effects.

Once eczema has settled, continue frequent moisturising emollient use.

Cautions and side effects

Eumovate is too strong to use on the face. It should only be used on eczema on the torso, arms, and legs.

Eumovate ointment contains flammable paraffin. The paraffin may be absorbed in clothing and bedding. They should be washed regularly to reduce fire risk. Keep away from naked flames.

Occasionally other ingredients in Eumovate can cause skin reactions. If eczema worsens when using Eumovate, then stop the treatment and consult your GP or skin specialist.

Overusing Eumovate on the skin could 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. Eumovate 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 the development of cataracts and other problems in the eyes. This is extremely unlikely with Eumovate 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 Eumovate ointment / cream

Do not use Eumovate 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

Avoidance of all medicines is advised when pregnant or breastfeeding. However, it may be safe to use small amounts of Eumovate cream or ointment on the skin 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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