Why is this medication prescribed?
Desonide is used to treat the redness, swelling, itching, and discomfort of various skin conditions, including psoriasis (a skin disease in which red, scaly patches form on some areas of the body and eczema (a skin disease that causes the skin to be dry and itchy and to sometimes develop red, scaly rashes). Desonide is in a class of medications called topical corticosteroids. It works by activating natural substances in the skin to reduce swelling, redness, and itching.
How should this medicine be used?
Desonide comes as a cream, ointment, gel, foam, and lotion to apply to the skin. Desonide topical is usually applied two to four times a day. Apply it at around the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use desonide exactly as directed. Do not apply more or less of it or apply it more often than prescribed by your doctor. Do not apply it to other areas of your body or use it to treat other skin conditions unless directed to do so by your doctor.
Your skin condition should improve during the first 2 weeks of your treatment with the cream, ointment, or lotion or during the first 4 weeks of your treatment with the gel or foam. Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve during this time.
Shake the lotion well before each use to mix the medication evenly.
This medication is only for use on the skin. Do not let desonide topical get into your eyes, nose, or mouth and do not swallow it. Avoid use in the genital and rectal areas, and in skin creases and armpits unless directed by your doctor.
To use desonide topical, apply a small amount of ointment, cream, gel, or lotion to cover the affected area of the skin with a thin even film and rub it in gently.
To use desonide foam, shake well before each use, and apply a small amount of foam to cover the affected area of the skin with a thin even film and rub it in gently. To use desonide foam on your face, apply foam into your hands and gently rub the medicine into affected areas of face; do not apply desonide foam directly to your face. You should wash your hands after applying desonide foam.
If you are applying desonide to a child's diaper area, do not cover the area with tight fitting diapers or plastic pants.
Do not wrap or bandage the treated area unless your doctor tells you that you should. Such use may increase side effects.
Desonide foam may catch fire. Stay away from open fire, flames, and do not smoke while you are applying desonide foam, and for a short time afterward.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before using desonide,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to desonide, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in desonide topical products. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention the following: other corticosteroid medications and other topical medications.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had diabetes, Cushing's syndrome (an abnormal condition that is caused by excess hormones [corticosteroids]), or liver problems.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while using desonide, call your doctor.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using desonide foam.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Apply the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not apply a double amount to make up for a missed dose.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Desonide topical may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- stinging, burning, irritation, peeling, dryness, and redness of the skin
- tiny red bumps or rash around the mouth
- small white or red bumps on the skin
- change in skin color
Some side effects can be serious. The following symptoms are uncommon, but if you experience any of them, call your doctor immediately:
- redness, swelling, oozing pus or other signs of skin infection in the place where you applied desonide
- severe rash
Children who use desonide may have an increased risk of side effects including slowed growth and delayed weight gain. Talk to your child's doctor about the risks of applying this medication to your child's skin.
Desonide may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of emergency/overdose
If someone swallows desonide topical, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Do not let anyone else use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.