Psoriasis Home > What Is Halobetasol Used For?

Although halobetasol comes in two forms (a cream and ointment), both are used to treat a wide variety of skin conditions in adults and children as young as 12 years old. Some approved uses for halobetasol include the treatment of poison ivy, seborrhea, and eczema. Both forms of this steroid medicine work by reducing inflammation and suppressing the immune system.

An Overview of Uses for Halobetasol

Halobetasol propionate (Ultravate®) is a prescription skin medication used to treat inflammation and itching due to a wide variety of conditions. Some of these conditions include but are not limited to:
Halobetasol is approved to treat any skin condition that is responsive to corticosteroids. It is important to note that this drug is a highly potent steroid. As such, it is recommended for short-term use only (for two weeks or less), and people must be careful to avoid using more than 50 grams per week. Using too much or using it too long may cause serious side effects (see Halobetasol Side Effects).

How Does It Work?

Halobetasol is part of a group of medications known as glucocorticoids, which are a type of corticosteroid (or "steroid" for short). Although glucocorticoids have numerous effects in the body, they are used mostly for their anti-inflammatory or immune-suppressing properties. Halobetasol works for most conditions by decreasing inflammation or suppressing an overactive immune system.

Can Children Use This Medicine?

Halobetasol is approved for use in children as young as 12 years old; it has not been adequately studied in younger children. As mentioned, this is a highly potent steroid, and young children are more likely to absorb too much of this medication, perhaps leading to serious side effects. If steroid treatment is necessary for a child, a less potent steroid would probably be more appropriate.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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