Desonide (On the skin)


Desonide (DES-oh-nide)

Relieves the itching, dryness, redness, and swelling caused by skin problems such as atopic dermatitis. This medicine is a steroid.

Brand Name(s)

DesOwen, Desonate, Desowen, Verdeso

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

How to Use This Medicine

Cream, Foam, Gel/Jelly, Lotion, Ointment

  • Take your medicine as directed.
  • Use this medicine only on your skin. Rinse it off right away if it gets on a cut or scrape. Do not get the medicine in your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Do not apply the gel/jelly on your child's underarm, groin, or diaper areas.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after you use this medicine.
  • Apply a thin layer of the medicine to the affected area. Rub it in gently.
  • Do not cover the treated area with a bandage unless directed by your doctor.
  • Shake the foam or lotion well just before using. Hold the can of foam upside down to put it on the skin.
  • Do not put the foam directly on your face. Put the foam in your hand first, then apply it to your face.
  • Do not use the foam near heat, an open flame, or while smoking. Do not puncture, break, or burn the can.
  • This medicine is not for long-term use.

If a dose is missed:

  • Apply a dose as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and apply a regular dose. Do not apply extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not freeze the cream or ointment.
  • Ask your pharmacist or doctor how to dispose of the medicine container and any leftover or expired medicine.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using other steroid medicines (such as dexamethasone, prednisolone, prednisone, MedrolĀ®).

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Also tell your doctor if you have diabetes. This medicine may increase the amount of sugar in your blood or urine. You may need to check your blood sugar and urine more often when using this medicine.
  • Do not give this medicine to your child unless your doctor tells you to. Do not use this medicine to treat diaper rash.
  • Do not use this medicine to treat a skin problem your doctor has not examined.
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. You may need to stop using this medicine several days before you have surgery or medical tests.
  • If your condition becomes worse or does not improve after 2 to 4 weeks with this medicine, check with your doctor.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches.
  • Gaining weight around your neck, upper back, breast, face, or waist.
  • Headache or dizziness.
  • Increased hunger, thirst, or urination.
  • Redness, warmth, swelling, drainage, pus, or other signs of skin infection.
  • Severe itching, burning, or skin irritation.
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Acne or tiny pimples on the skin.
  • Itching or redness around your lips.
  • Mild burning, dryness, peeling, redness, itching, or irritation of your skin.
  • Raised, dark red, wart-like spots on skin, especially when used on the face.
  • Thinning or change in color of your skin.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 8/4/2014

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