Skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema or dermatitis can have serious consequences if left untreated. Depending on the severity of your skin condition, the treating dermatologist prescribes skin meds. More often than not, your medication plan may involve application of topical creams, lotions, solutions or ointments. Though the forms may vary, therapeutic properties remain almost the same. In this light, prescription of steroids to treat skin conditions is a common practice. Some steroids are mild while a few are high on potency. Drugs such as clobetasol propionate contain a highly powerful form of steroid. You need to know the uses of such strong meds prior to starting your treatment plan.

Use of steroids to decrease skin problems is in use for several years. Such drugs are known to be effective against a wide range of disorders – such as psoriasis (rapid growth of cells of the skin, resulting in discolored patches), eczema (mostly witnessed in infants as well as children), rashes, itchiness and dermatitis (swelling of epidermis – the outer layer of skin). Most of the above conditions may require use of steroids. Steroids are made in multiple forms of potency – i.e., ranging from mild, strong to very strong. The underlying skin condition, your age and presence of other ailments influence the type of steroids and your overall medication plan.

Use of clobetasol for skin conditions

Among the various forms of steroids, clobetasol propionate is a super-strong version. This forms part of a subset of drugs known as corticosteroids. Since it is a highly potent drug, its use is not prescribed for a longer time span. You must never use this drug for more than 14 days (or, 2 weeks). Also, the use per day must never exceed 6 to 7 grams (g) within a 24-hour timeline. As an excessive use can lead to toxicity, one must apply it only as a thin layer / film on the affected surface.

As a safety precaution, never use this drug on your eyes, inside your nose or mouth. Upon accidentally applying clobetasol propionate onto your eyes or any other sensitive organs, you must immediately wash the organ with water. Upon noticing irritation of skin or rashes on the applied part, you need to call your caregiving team as soon as you possibly can. Also, care to wash your hands soon after handling this steroid. Forgetting to wash your hands may lead to numbing of fingertips and the other sensitive parts like palms, etc.

Side effects of clobetasol propionate

This powerful steroid may cause a few undesired side effects. These include reddening of skin, excessive levels of itchiness, drying of skin, etc. In some cases, users have encountered a few other discomforts like burning or a stinging sensation. The good thing is – almost all of these discomforts may disappear once your system gets used to the active ingredients of this drug. However, if one or more of these side effects persist for long (say, for more than 7 days), it is highly recommended to consult with your treating physician or a pharmacist without delay.

In some remote cases, this skin med has triggered a few acute side effects; these can include appearance of marks on skin – especially, on the area where you applied the medication, thinning of skin, growth of hair on unusual parts of your body, inflammation of hair follicles, etc. People who have a skin infection are advised not to use this skin med; this is chiefly because of the likely aggravation of such infections upon using this med.

An excessive use of clobetasol propionate can lead to the active ingredients getting mixed with your blood. Such a condition can soon result in an excessive accumulation of this steroid inside your system. Such blending may also occur when you are using the med over a larger surface of your skin; at times, use of this skin med for a fairly longer time (i.e., for more than 16 days) can also lead to a toxic build-up of steroids. You may witness signs such as inflammation of your feet or ankles, extreme levels of weariness or weakness, a sudden loss of bodyweight, persistent spells of thirstiness, frequent urges to pee or blurring of eyesight. If you are sensing any of these symptoms, you are advised to talk to your treating doctor or the pharmacist on an emergency basis.

It is important to remember that the above side effects and discomforts do not represent a complete list of all possible adverse effects. It is quite possible to witness a few unknown allergic reactions or discomforts. Upon encountering any such unlisted problems, it is highly recommended to call 911 for quicker medical attention. If you live in Canada, call Health Canada as quickly as possible.

Other precautions needed prior to the use of clobetasol propionate

Oral intake of a few steroids may result in an overdosed condition. So, be wary while taking medicines such as prednisone (used for the treatment of autoimmune conditions like arthritis and blood related problems) or cyclosporine (used to prevent rejection of newly transplanted organs). Drugs such as these may lower your immunity levels can make you more vulnerable to external attacks or threats.

Those who have known allergies or hypersensitivity to steroids – especially corticosteroids like hydrocortisone, etc. must tell about such conditions to their caregiving team. In some cases, a few passive or not-so-active ingredients may cause some allergies. Hence, it is a safe practice to keep your physician as well as pharmacist informed of prior allergies to drugs and / or chemicals. In general, take needful precautions (by talking to your caregiver) if you are living with a compromised immune system, circulatory disorders, skin problems such as rosacea (reddening of skin on cheeks, nose and chin) or dermatitis (of the perioral genre). Among children aged less than 16 years, this drug is known to limit normal growth. So, it is important to check your children’s height frequently if you are using this drug.

Last but not least, it is a safe practice to avoid using this drug if you are pregnant. Also, women who are nursing a newly born infant must talk to their gynecologist about how to use this skin med safely. Above all, it is important to consult with your treating physician or caregiver if you have queries about this drug.

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