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Clobetasol propionate scalp


Cutaneous scalp preparations containing clobetasol propionate.

Drugs List

  • CLARELUX 500microgram/g foam
  • clobetasol 0.05% scalp application
  • clobetasol 500microgram/g foam
  • clobetasol 500microgram/g shampoo
  • DERMOVATE 0.05% scalp application
  • ETRIVEX 500microgram/g shampoo
  • Therapeutic Indications


    Eczema - scalp
    Psoriasis - scalp

    Foam and Scalp applications

    For the short term treatment of steroid responsive dermatoses of the scalp such as psoriasis which have not responded adequately to less potent topical steroids.

    Shampoo preparations

    For the topical treatment of moderate scalp psoriasis in adults.


    Treatment should be discontinued once therapeutic control is achieved.

    Repeated short courses may be used to control exacerbations. However if continuous treatment is required a less potent topical steroid should be used.


    Foam Preparations

    Apply to the affected area(s) twice daily.

    A small amount of foam (approximately 1 teaspoon) should be dispensed directly onto the affected area. Alternatively dispense a small amount of foam into the cap of the container or other cool surface. The foam should be gently massaged into the scalp until it has been completely absorbed.

    A single treatment course should be limited to two consecutive weeks, and a maximum quantity of 50 g/week should not be exceeded.

    Scalp application

    Apply sparingly to the scalp night and morning until improvement occurs.

    If symptoms are controlled and improvement has been achieved once a day or less frequent application may be used.

    Shampoo Preparations

    A small quantity of shampoo (approximately half a tablespoon or 7.5 ml) should be applied directly onto a dry scalp once daily. The shampoo should be left in place for 15 minutes before rinsing with water or washing out with additional regular shampoo if required for cleaning.

    A maximum treatment period of 4 weeks is recommended.


    (See Dosage; Adult)


    Scalp application

    Children 1 to 18 years of age

    (See Dosage; Adult)
    The treatment should be reviewed weekly and if possible a few days course is recommended.

    Shampoo Preparations

    Children 2 to 18 years of age (unlicensed)

    (See Dosage; Adult) though not recommended by the manufacturer

    Foam Preparations

    Children 12 to 18 years of age

    (See Dosage; Adult)


    Children under 1 year
    Acne vulgaris
    Genital pruritus
    Perianal pruritus
    Perioral dermatitis
    Skin infection

    Precautions and Warnings

    Children under 18 years

    May mask symptoms or signs of infections
    Not all available brands are licensed for all age groups
    Not all available brands are licensed for all indications
    May contain polysorbate
    Some formulations contain cetyl alcohol
    Some formulations contain propylene glycol
    Some formulations contain stearyl alcohol
    Advise patient to wash hands after use
    Avoid contact with eyes
    Avoid contact with nostrils or mouth
    Avoid occlusive dressings
    Avoid use in open/infected wounds
    If accidental contact with the eyes occurs, rinse thoroughly with water
    Not to be applied to the face
    Risk of glaucoma if preparation enters eye
    Some preparations are flammable: Advise patient not to use near naked flame
    Adrenal suppression may occur even without occlusion
    Prolonged use may cause atrophic skin changes
    Rebound effect may occur after cessation of treatment
    Refer immediately visual disturbances to a specialist
    Risk of generalised pustular psoriasis with use of topical corticosteroids
    Withdraw gradually if adrenal suppression suspected
    Discontinue if hypersensitivity reactions occur
    Discontinue therapy and use antimicrobials if secondary infection occurs
    Avoid prolonged use

    When treating children and adolescents below 18 years of age, it is recommended that treatment should be reviewed on a weekly basis.

    Hypercortisolism (Cushing's syndrome) and reversible hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis suppression, leading to glucocorticosteroid insufficiency, can occur in some patients, particularly in children as a result of increased systemic absorption of topical steroids. If either are observed, withdraw treatment gradually by reducing the frequency of application, or by substituting a less potent corticosteroid. Abrupt withdrawal of treatment may result in glucocorticosteroid insufficiency.

    Pregnancy and Lactation


    Use clobetasol propionate with caution in pregnancy.

    The manufacturer does not recommend using clobetasol during pregnancy unless it is clearly necessary.

    Topical administration of corticosteroids in pregnant animals produced adverse effects on foetal development such as cleft palate and intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR). There are some epidemiological studies and a meta-analysis of such studies which show a risk of oral clefts consistent with animals studies.

    If it is necessary to use topical clobetasol during pregnancy the treatment time should be brief and the area to be covered should not be extensive.


    Use clobetasol propionate with caution in breastfeeding.

    The manufacturer states to use clobetasol when breastfeeding only if clearly necessary.

    There is limited information regarding excretion into breast milk with topical steroids. LactMed does state that since only extensive application of the most potent corticosteroids may cause systemic effects in the mother, it is unlikely that short-term application of topical corticosteroids would pose a risk to the breastfed infant. However, it would be prudent to use the least potent drug on the smallest area of skin possible and that it is particularly important to ensure that the infant's skin does not come into direct contact with the areas of skin that has been treated.

    Side Effects

    Adrenal suppression
    Application site reaction
    Blurred vision
    Burning sensation (local)
    Central serous chorioretinopathy
    Contact dermatitis
    Cushing's syndrome
    Erythema at application site
    Exacerbation of acne
    Exacerbation of infection
    Exacerbation of psoriasis
    Eye irritation
    Hypersensitivity reactions
    Increased intra-ocular pressure
    Pain at application site
    Perioral dermatitis
    Pustular psoriasis
    Rosacea like dermatitis
    Secondary infections
    Skin irritation
    Skin pigmentation changes
    Skin tenderness
    Skin tightness
    Superficial vascular dilation
    Suppression of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis
    Thinning of skin
    Urine abnormality
    Wound healing retarded


    It is strongly recommended that the UK National Poisons Information Service be consulted on cases of suspected or actual overdose where there is doubt over the degree of risk or about appropriate management.

    The following number will direct the caller to the relevant local centre (0844) 892 0111

    Information may be obtained if you have access to ToxBase the primary clinical toxicology database of the National Poisons Information Service. This is available via password on the internet ( ) or if this is unavailable at the backup site ( ).

    Further Information

    Last Full Review Date: December 2021

    Reference Sources

    Summary of product characteristics: Clarelux 500 microgram/g cutaneous foam in pressurised container. Pierre Fabre Limited. Revised February 2021.
    Summary of product characteristics: Dermovate Scalp application. GlaxoSmithKline. Revised March 2021.
    Summary of product characteristics: Etrivex 500 micrograms/g shampoo. Galderma UK Limited. Revised May 2021.

    US National Library of Medicine. Toxicology Data Network. Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed).
    Available at:
    Clobetasol Last revised: 18 January 2021
    Last accessed: 13 December 2021

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