Eumovate eczema and dermatitis cream (Clobetasone)

How does it work?

Eumovate eczema and dermatitis cream contains the active ingredient clobetasone butyrate, which is a type of medicine called a topical corticosteroid.

Corticosteroids are medicines used for reducing inflammation. Inflammation of the skin happens as a result of allergy or irritation of the skin, and is caused by the release of various substances that are important in the immune system. These substances cause blood vessels to widen and result in the irritated area becoming red, swollen, itchy and painful, such as is seen in dermatitis or eczema.

When clobetasone is applied to the skin it works by acting inside the skin cells to decrease the release of these inflammatory substances. This reduces inflammation, redness and itch.

There is a range of potencies of corticosteroids that can be applied to the skin. Clobetasone butyrate is classed as a moderately potent corticosteroid. It can be bought from pharmacies for the short-term treatment of eczema and dermatitis. Larger tubes are also available on prescription - see the Eumovate cream and ointment factsheet for more information.

What is it used for?

Eumovate eczema and dermatitis cream can be bought from pharmacies for the short-term treatment (up to seven days) of patches of eczema and dermatitis, including those listed below.

  • Atopic eczema.
  • Skin inflammation due to allergies or irritants (allergic contact dermatitis or irritant contact dermatitis).

How do I use it?

  • The cream should be applied thinly and evenly to the affected area(s) twice a day for up to seven days. Click here to see how much to use.
  • Wash your hands after applying the cream, unless the hands are the area being treated.
  • Consult your doctor if your symptoms don't improve, or get worse in the first seven days of treatment. Do not use this medicine for longer than seven days without consulting your doctor.
  • Don't apply moisturisers to the same area of skin at the same time as this medicine. Try to leave at least 30 minutes between applying moisturisers and this medicine, as otherwise the moisturiser could dilute the corticosteroid and potentially make it less effective.


  • This cream should only be used to treat eczema or dermatitis. If you are unsure what your skin problem is you should seek advice from your pharmacist or doctor before using this medicine.
  • This cream is for external use on the affected areas of skin only.
  • You should never use Eumovate as a moisturiser.
  • You should not cover the area being treated with airtight dressings such as bandages or other dressings unless directed by a doctor, as these will enhance the absorption of the medicine into the body and may increase the risk of side effects.
  • Avoid getting the cream in contact with the eyes, or the inside of the mouth or nose. Rinse with cold water if accidental contact occurs.
  • Do not use this cream on the face, as it may cause spots resembling acne or dermatitis around the mouth.
  • If you think the area of skin you are treating has become infected you should stop using this medicine and consult your doctor.
  • This medicine should not be used to treat the same patch of skin more than twice, unless you have confirmed the diagnosis with your doctor.

Not to be used in

  • Children under 12 years of age, unless on the advice of a doctor.
  • Broken skin or open wounds.
  • Areas of skin affected by acne vulgaris.
  • Areas of skin infected with viruses (eg chickenpox, shingles, cold sores or herpes simplex).
  • Areas of skin infected with bacteria (eg impetigo).
  • Areas of skin infected with fungi (eg thrush, ringworm, athlete's foot). You should not use this cream on the skin of the groin, genitals or between the toes unless directed by your doctor, as these are common sites of fungal infections.
  • Areas of skin affected by psoriasis or seborrhoeic dermatitis, as these conditions require advice and care from a doctor.

This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.

If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.

  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding you should seek medical advice from your doctor before using this medicine. This medicine should only be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding if considered essential by your doctor.

Side effects

Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. Just because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect. The following side effects are known to be associated with this medicine.

  • Skin irritation, eg redness, rash, itching or burning on application, or allergic inflammation of the skin (contact dermatitis). Stop using this medicine and consult your doctor if you think you have experienced a reaction or your skin condition appears to be getting worse.
  • Reduced skin pigmentation.
  • Thinning of the skin.
  • Excessive hair growth (hypertrichosis).
  • Spread or worsening of untreated infections.
  • Prolonged use of this medicine on extensive areas of skin, broken or raw skin, skin folds or underneath airtight dressings may on very rare occasions result in enough corticosteroid being absorbed to have side effects on other parts of the body, for example a decrease in the production of natural hormones by the adrenal glands.

This list may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer.

For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.

How can this medicine affect other medicines?

This medicine is not known to affect other medicines. However, as with all medicines, it is important to tell your pharmacist what medicines you are already using, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, before you start treatment with this medicine. Similarly, check with your doctor or pharmacist before using any new medicines while using this one, to make sure that the combination is safe.

You should not use other corticosteroid creams or ointments, eg hydrocortisone, either prescribed or bought over-the-counter, while using this medicine, as this may increase the risk of unwanted effects.

If you are using other topical medicines or moisturisers on the same area of skin it is recommended that you leave several minutes between applying each product. This is to allow each product time to be absorbed and avoid them mixing on the skin.

If you apply moisturisers shortly before or after applying this medicine these can dilute the corticosteroid and potentially make it less effective. Try to apply your moisturisers at a different time of day, or at least 30 minutes before or after this one.

Other medicines containing the same active ingredient

  • Eumovate cream and ointment.