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What Is Betamethasone Valerate?

A woman applying betamethasone valerate cream.
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  • Written By: Jacquelyn Gilchrist
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 12 August 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Betamethasone valerate is a corticosteroid medication that is prescribed to help manage various skin conditions, such as psoriasis and seborrhea. It can help alleviate symptoms such as itching, swelling, and redness. The medication is available in both a foam and a cream, and may be applied to the scalp and/or body.

Patients using betamethasone valerate for a scalp condition need to use the foam product. To apply, they should first shake the canister and spray some foam on a saucer, as spraying it directly on the hands can cause the foam to melt. The patient may then take a small amount of the foam and massage it into the area of scalp that requires treatment. He should then continue massaging in more of the foam, until it is no longer visible on the scalp. The foam is typically applied twice daily, following which patients should thoroughly wash their hands.

To apply betamethasone valerate cream to skin on the body, the patient should squeeze a small amount of the drug onto the affected skin. He may then use a sterile cotton swab to distribute the cream evenly. The skin should not be covered by bandages or dressings. Patients should wash their hands well after the application to avoid getting the medication in the eyes, nose, or mouth. The doctor may prescribe one to three dosages of the cream per day.

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Betamethasone valerate cream may cause some side effects, such as acne, stinging or cracking of the skin, and skin irritation. Some patients may experience inflamed hair follicles, excessive hair growth on the body, and itching. Patients should contact their doctors immediately if they experience swelling, discoloration, or problems breathing.

The foam medication may also cause some side effects that require medical attention, such as discoloration, hair loss, and numbness or tingling. Pus, redness, or irritation of the eyes, as well as skin thinning or dryness may also occur. Occasionally, the medication may be absorbed into the bloodstream. This potentially serious complication can cause weight loss, unusual fatigue, and vision problems. Increased urination and thirst, swelling of the ankles and feet, and headache may also occur.

Patients should discuss their other medical conditions with the prescribing physician before using betamethasone valerate. Those with diabetes, Cushing's syndrome, and severe skin injuries may be unable to use either form of the betamethasone valerate. Other medical conditions that fall into this category may include tuberculosis, thinning of the skin, and intracranial hypertension. Those who are pregnant or breastfeeding should discuss possible risks with the doctor. Patients should also discuss their other medications and supplements with the prescribing physician.

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