Compare Desonate vs. Cloderm

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

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.

Treats skin irritation and skin rashes.

Cloderm (clocortolone) is a medium strength topical medication that helps treat skin irritations and skin rashes, and comes in many easy-to-use formulations.

  • 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.
  • When used for a short amount of time, most people have very few side effects and tolerate Cloderm (clocortolone) well.
  • Cloderm (clocortolone) is safe and effective for both adults and children.
  • Is medium strength so will treat most inflammatory skin conditions with few side effects.
  • 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.
  • May be more expensive than other medicines like it.
  • Non-steroidal options may be better if you have a weakened immune system.
  • Long term use can cause skin thinning and raised blood sugars.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Cream
  • Gel
  • Ointment
  • Foam
  • Lotion
  • Cream
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Side effects
1possible side effects
  • Headache
See more detailed side effects
The Cloderm (clocortolone) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • 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
  • Reduced hormone production
    • High doses of Cloderm (clocortolone).
    • Long-term use of Cloderm (clocortolone).
    • Use in children and teens
  • Infection
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • Use of bandages and dressings
    • Use of bandages or wound dressings over the treatment area(s)
See more detailed risks and warnings