Compare clobetasol vs. Desonate

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Helps with inflamed and itchy skin.

Clobex (clobetasol) is a very strong topical medication that is effective for treating certain skin disorders and psoriasis, but it's expensive and should only be used for a maximum of 2 weeks at a time.

Treats itchy, red, and dry skin rashes.

Desonate (desonide) is a cheap and effective topical treatment for mild skin rashes, but may not treat more serious skin conditions.

  • Clobex (clobetasol) is the strongest topical steroid medicine available in the U.S. and is effective for treating skin inflammation and psoriasis.
  • Clobex (clobetasol) comes in many different forms that makes it easy to use on various parts of the body.
  • If Clobex (clobetasol) is applied sparingly and not used for more than 2 weeks at a time, there are fewer side effects compared to the oral version.
  • Pregnant women can use Clobex (clobetasol) if approved by their doctor.
  • Can be used in children as young as 3 months old and in adults.
  • Available in cheaper, generic version.
  • Compared to oral alternatives, this medicine has less side effects only if used sparingly for 4 weeks or less.
  • Pregnant women can use Desonate (desonide) if approved by their doctor.
  • Desonate (desonide) is mild strength so it likely won't cause many side effects.
  • Using Clobex (clobetasol) for more than 2 weeks at a time can cause side effects such as skin thinning and raised blood sugar.
  • Clobex (clobetasol) is expensive and not covered by many insurance programs.
  • Clobex (clobetasol) is not safe for use on areas of the face, underarms or groin.
  • Not safe for children 12 years and younger.
  • Using this medication long-term or using it too much can disturb your body's hormone balance.
  • Must apply 2-3 times daily.
  • Cannot use for more than 4 consecutive weeks at a time.
  • As a milder steroid, it may not help serious skin conditions.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Cream
  • Foam
  • Gel
  • Liquid
  • Lotion
  • Shampoo
  • Solution
  • Emollient cream
  • Cream
  • Gel
  • Ointment
  • Foam
  • Lotion
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Side effects
The Clobex (clobetasol) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
1possible side effects
  • Headache
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Skin irritation and skin infection
    • Open sores
  • Skin thinning
    • People age 65 and older
  • Raised blood sugar
    • Using Clobex (clobetasol) for more than 2 weeks
    • Using Clobex (clobetasol) over large areas of skin
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Reduced hormone production
    • Prolonged use (>4 weeks) of Desonate (desonide).
    • Applying Desonate (desonide) to a large area of your body (>35% body surface area).
    • Applying excessive amounts of Desonate (desonide) to your skin.
    • Children.
  • Skin infection
    • Previous skin infection.
  • Skin reaction
    • Excessive and inappropriate use of Desonate (desonide).
    • High concentration of Desonate (desonide)
See more detailed risks and warnings