What Is Desoximetasone?

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  • Written By: Jacquelyn Gilchrist
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 06 November 2019
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Desoximetasone is a generic medication often marketed under the brand name Topicort®. It is a corticosteroid medication that doctors prescribe for a variety of skin conditions. These can include eczema, rashes, and allergic rashes, as well as dermatitis. Desoximetasone works to relieve symptoms like swelling, itching, and redness.

This medication is only available as a topical cream or gel to be applied to the skin. It must never be applied to the groin, underarms, or face, unless a doctor instructs the patient to do so. Patients will usually apply the cream twice daily. After application, most patients should leave the area of skin uncovered by bandages, and some patients may be given specific instructions to wrap the skin in plastic, typically for up to 12 hours a day.

To apply desoximetasone, patients must first cleanse the hands and the area of skin to be treated. A pea-size or smaller amount should be placed on the affected area of skin. The patient should gently massage the medicated cream into the skin, evenly distributing it in a thin layer. His hands must then be re-washed thoroughly to avoid spreading the drug to unwanted areas.


Some side effects may occur with the use of desoximetasone, which should be reported to the prescribing physician if they are troublesome or persistent. Patients may often notice irritation, dryness, or burning, as well as itching affecting the medicated area of skin. This should last no longer than a few days, dissipating once the body adjusts to desoximetasone.

Serious side effects are less likely, but require prompt medical attention. Patients should be aware that an allergic reaction is possible, which can include severe dizziness, trouble breathing, and swelling of the face or throat. Other serious side effects may include excessive hair growth, acne, and stretch marks. Skin thinning or discoloration and folliculitis, or “hair bumps” have also been reported.

Those who use a great deal of desoximetasone applied to large areas of the skin, or those who use this medication for a long time are at a higher risk of the drug absorbing into the bloodstream. When this occurs, the patient may notice weight loss, extreme fatigue, and swelling of the feet and ankles. Vision problems, headaches, and increased thirst and urination have also been reported.

Before using desoximetasone for a skin condition, patients should disclose their other medical conditions, medications, and supplements. As of 2011, it is unknown whether this corticosteroid may pass into breast milk. Women who are pregnant should avoid its use whenever possible. This drug may be contraindicated for use by those who have immune system problems, diabetes, or poor circulation. Desoximetasone may interact with other medications, including methotrexate, cyclosporine, and sirolimus.


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