You only need to use a small amount of the cream. Apply it thinly just to the areas affected, and then massage it gently into the skin.
Topical corticosteroids should not be used for long periods of time or on large areas of the body, especially in children.
Do not use the cream on any infected areas of skin.
About alclometasone cream
|Type of medicine||A moderately potent topical corticosteroid|
|Used for||Inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis; insect bites|
Alclometasone is classed as a moderately potent topical corticosteroid. Topical corticosteroids are also referred to as topical steroids. Topical steroids are used in addition to moisturisers (emollients) for treating inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis. A topical steroid is used when patches of eczema or dermatitis flare up. Alclometasone relieves the symptoms of a flare-up by reducing inflammation, itching and redness. It is not a cure for the condition, but it will help to relieve the symptoms.
Alclometasone can also be prescribed to relieve inflammation caused by insect bites and stings. Short courses can also be prescribed for the treatment of psoriasis, although it is not generally recommended for this skin condition.
Before using alclometasone cream
To make sure this is the right treatment for you, before you start using alclometasone cream it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you have any areas of infected skin.
- If you have rosacea or acne.
- If you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a skin preparation.
How to use alclometasone cream
- Before you start using the cream, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. It will give you more information about topical steroids and will provide you with a full list of the side-effects that you may experience from using the cream.
- Apply a small amount to the areas of skin which are inflamed. Then gently rub it into the skin until it has disappeared. Do not use alclometasone on any open sores or areas of infected skin.
- The amount of topical steroid that you should apply is commonly measured by fingertip units (FTUs). One FTU is the amount of cream that is squeezed out along an adult's fingertip (that is, from the very end of the finger to the first crease in the finger). As a guide, one FTU is enough to cover an area twice the size of an adult hand. Your doctor will give you an idea of how many FTUs you will need to cover the area of your skin which is affected.
- Your doctor will tell you how often to apply the cream. It must not be applied more than twice a day, and once a day is often sufficient.
- If you are using more than one topical corticosteroid, make sure you know when and where to use each one. If you are unsure, check with your doctor or ask your pharmacist for further advice.
- After you have applied alclometasone, remember to wash your hands (unless your hands are the treated area).
- If you are using alclometasone for psoriasis, make sure you follow your doctor's instructions carefully. It should not be used for large areas of psoriasis or for long periods of time, as these can cause your symptoms to flare up again afterwards.
- Children are susceptible to side-effects from topical steroids. The main concern is for children who need frequent courses, as it can have an effect on their growth and this may need to be monitored. If your child has been prescribed alclometasone, follow the directions you have been given very carefully, and do not use it for longer than you have been told to. As a general rule, it should not be used for more than 1-2 weeks in children.
Getting the most from your treatment
- If you are using a moisturiser along with alclometasone, apply the moisturiser first. Then wait 10-15 minutes before applying alclometasone cream. This allows time for the moisturiser to be absorbed before the topical corticosteroid is applied. Your skin should be moist but not slippery when you apply alclometasone.
- If you have been told to use alclometasone cream on your face, be careful not to get any cream near your eyes and do not use it for longer periods of time than you have been advised.
- Unless advised to do so by your doctor, do not apply a bandage or dressing to the area being treated, as this will increase absorption of the preparation and increase the risk of side-effects.
- Continue to use alclometasone until the flare-up has completely gone, and then stop it. A course of treatment for 7-14 days is usually sufficient. If your symptoms have not improved after this time (or if they get worse), speak again with your doctor for further advice. Topical corticosteroids like alclometasone should not be used for long periods of time or on large areas of the body, especially in children.
- After you finish using alclometasone cream, continue to use your moisturiser every day. This will help to prevent a further flare-up.
Can alclometasone cream cause problems?
Courses of less than four weeks of topical steroids like alclometasone are usually safe and do not cause problems. If used for long periods, they can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. You can reduce the risk of side-effects by applying the cream thinly, no more than twice a day, and to the affected areas only.
|Side-effects of alclometasone cream||What can I do if I experience this?|
|A burning sensation or smarting||This soon passes|
|Thinning of the skin, permanent stretchmarks, allergic contact dermatitis, acne, rosacea, and hair growth at the site of application||These would normally only affect you if you use alclometasone for long periods of time|
|Alclometasone may get through your skin and into your bloodstream||This usually causes no problem unless you use alclometasone regularly on large areas of your skin|
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to alclometasone, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.
How to store alclometasone
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Make sure that the person prescribing this medicine knows about any other medicines that you are taking or using. This includes medicines you buy and herbal and homeopathic medicines.
Before using this medicine tell your doctor if you have ever had an allergic reaction after taking or using any medicine.
Never use more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that someone has swallowed some of the medicine by accident, contact the accident and emergency department of your local hospital for advice.
If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking or using.
If you buy any medicines check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with your other medicines.
This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.
Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.
If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 68th Edition (Sep 2014) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.
Dr John Cox