Betnovate scalp application contains the active ingredient betamethasone valerate, this is a topical corticosteroid.
Corticosteroids are used for many conditions to reduce inflammation. Inflammation of the skin/scalp happens due to over activation of immune response chemicals that are normally protective.
These substances cause blood vessels to dilate, the resultant skin/scalp becomes red, swollen, itchy and painful, such as is seen in dermatitis or eczema.
When betamethasone is applied to the scalp, it acts inside the cells and dampens the release of the inflammatory substances. This reduces swelling, redness and itching.
Corticosteroids applied to the skin have various potencies. Betamethasone valerate 0.1% is classed as a potent corticosteroid. It is prescribed to treat inflammatory scalp disorders such as eczema and psoriasis that have not responded to weaker corticosteroids
- The liquid should be applied sparingly to the areas of the scalp that need treating using the nozzle of the bottle.
- Rub the liquid into your scalp if you wish, but then leave it to dry. The betamethasone will be left on the scalp – it should not be washed off (for at least 4 hours).
- Take care to avoid the scalp application running onto the face or into the eyes. Rinse with cold water in case of contact.
- Avoid applying it to broken skin.
- Wash your hands after applying the scalp application to avoid transfer.
- The scalp application is usually applied twice a day. As soon as the condition starts to improve, you should use it less frequently, as directed by your doctor.
- If there is no improvement in your scalp after two to four weeks of treatment you should consult your doctor.
- Repeat courses maybe necessary to control flare-ups of psoriasis or eczema, but should only be started on the advice of your doctor.
- Betnovate scalp application contains flammable alcohol. Do not use it near naked flames or lit objects.
- This medicine is for external use on the scalp ONLY. It must not be used on the face or any other part of the body apart from the scalp.
- Apply the liquid thinly to the affected areas of the scalp.
- If corticosteroids are used long-term, on large areas of skin, raw or broken skin, or under airtight dressings they are absorbed into the body more. This increases the risk of local side effects such as skin thinning, and those on other parts of the body, such as a decrease in the production of natural hormones by the adrenal glands.
- If you find you still need to use this medicine after two to four weeks because your skin has not improved you should consult your doctor.
- If you think the area of skin you are treating has become infected you should stop using this medicine and consult your doctor.
If you have been prescribed this medicine to treat scalp psoriasis you should have regular check-ups with your doctor. This is because although corticosteroids may be useful for psoriasis in the short-term, they can sometimes make psoriasis worse, and may cause the condition to relapse into generalised pustular psoriasis after the treatment is stopped.
Betnovate scalp application should not be used in:
Children (can only be given by your own doctor or dermatologist)
Skin infected with viruses (eg chickenpox, shingles), fungi (eg ringworm) or bacteria (eg impetigo).
This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
This medicine should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding unless considered essential by your doctor. If it is prescribed by your doctor it should not be used on large areas of skin, underneath dressings, or for prolonged periods of time. Consult your doctor for further information.
The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. 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.
- Skin irritation at site of application, such as burning and itching.
- Allergic inflammation of the skin (contact dermatitis).
- Thinning of the skin.
- Stretch marks (striae).
- Groupings of fine blood vessels becoming prominent under the skin (telangiectasia).
- Changes in skin pigmentation.
- Excessive hair growth (hypertrichosis).
- Prolonged use of this medicine on extensive areas of skin, broken or raw skin, or underneath airtight dressings may on 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.