Betnovate cream, ointment and lotion all contain the active ingredient betamethasone. Betamethasone cream and ointment are also available without a brand name, ie as the generic medicine.
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 betamethasone is applied to the skin it works by acting inside the cells to decrease the release of these inflammatory substances. This reduces swelling, redness and itch.
There is a range of potencies of corticosteroids available for application to the skin. Betnovate cream, ointment and lotion contain betamethasone valerate 0.1% and are classed as potent corticosteroids. They are prescribed to treat various inflammatory skin disorders, such as eczema and dermatitis, that have not responded to milder steroids.
Betnovate cream is more suitable for moist, weeping areas of skin, while the thicker, more greasy ointment is more suitable for dry, scaly areas of skin. Betnovate lotion spreads easily and is more suitable for hairy areas of skin, or when minimal application to a large area of skin is needed.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. 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.