Dovate Cream and Ointments:  Uses, Benefits, Dosage, Side Effects, Warnings

Dovate topical cream and ointments is a brand of clobetasol propionate used to help relieve redness, itching, swelling, or other discomfort caused by skin conditions. This medication is used to treat a variety of skin conditions (e.g., eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, allergies, rash). Clobetasol reduces the swelling, itching, and redness that can occur in these types of conditions.

Dovate Cream and ointments may be used as part of a combination therapy. This means you may need to take it with other medications. Dovate Cream is used cosmetically by dark-skinned women for skin whitening, although this use is controversial.

How Dovate Cream works

Dovate cream and ointments belongs to a class of drugs called topical corticosteroids. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. It works by activating natural substances in the skin to reduce swelling, redness, and itching. Dovate cream also reduces the activity of your immune system. This prevents inflammation and itching and treats your skin condition.

How should I use Dovate cream?

Dovate cream and ointments is for external use only. Do not take by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Wash your hands before and after use. Apply a thin film of medicine to the affected area. Do not cover with a bandage or dressing unless your doctor or health care professional tells you to. Do not get this medicine in your eyes. If you do, rinse out with plenty of cool tap water. It is important not to use more medicine than prescribed. Do not use your medicine more often than directed. To do so may increase the chance of side effects.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

Elderly patients are more likely to have damaged skin through aging, and this may increase side effects. This medicine should only be used for brief periods and infrequently in older patients.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine, contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

What are the side effects of Dovate cream?

Dovate cream and ointments doesn’t cause drowsiness. However, it can cause other side effects.

The most common side effects of clobetasol include:

  • burning, irritation, and itching of the skin where you applied the drug

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious side effects

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

Adrenal insufficiency. Symptoms can include:

  • low blood pressure
  • fainting
  • dizziness
  • tiredness

Cushing’s syndrome. Symptoms can include:

high blood sugar or blood sugar in your urine, with symptoms such as:

  • urinating more often than normal
  • intense thirst
  • intense hunger
  • high blood pressure


Dovate cream can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Examples of drugs that can cause interactions with Dovate cream are listed below:


Do not take these drugs with clobetasol. Doing so can cause dangerous effects on your body. Examples of these drugs include:

  • prednisone

Using Dovate cream and ointments with other corticosteroids may cause the steroids in your body to build up to dangerous levels. This can cause Cushing’s syndrome and high blood sugar. It may also stop your adrenal glands from working well.

Dovate cream warnings

Dovate cream comes with several warnings.

Allergy warning: Dovate cream may cause allergic skin reactions that are difficult to heal. Your doctor may do a skin patch test to check if you have an allergic skin reaction. Symptoms of a skin reaction can include:

  • skin irritation that doesn’t heal

This drug may also cause severe allergic reactions. Symptoms can include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue

If you have an allergic reaction, call your doctor or local poison control center right away. If your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

Drug transfer warning

This drug may transfer to other people if they touch your treated skin. Be sure to wash your hands well with soap and water after you apply it.

Warnings for people with certain health conditions

For people with liver problems: This drug is processed by your liver. If you have severe liver problems, your body may not be able to break down this drug as well. This could cause the drug to build up in your body. This may increase your risk of side effects.

Warnings for other groups

For pregnant women: Dovate cream is a category C pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  • Research in animals has shown adverse effects on the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  • There haven’t been enough studies done in humans to be certain how the drug might affect the fetus.
  • Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. This drug should only be used if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk.

For women who are breastfeeding: Dovate cream may pass into breast milk and cause side effects in a child who is breastfed. Talk to your doctor if you breastfeed your child. You may need to decide whether to stop breastfeeding or stop taking this medication.

For seniors: The kidneys, liver, and heart of an older adult may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects. Your doctor may start you on a lowered dosage or a different treatment schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.

For children: Dovate cream topical cream has not been confirmed as safe and effective for use in children younger than 12 years. Most form of the drug has not been confirmed as safe and effective for use in children younger than 18 years.

This drug may cause children’s adrenal glands to work more slowly. It may cause children to develop Cushing’s syndrome, grow more slowly, and gain weight. This drug can also increase brain pressure in children. Your child’s doctor can tell you more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe for people to use Dovate ointment for dark spots on the face?

No, Dovate ointment contains clobetasol which should not be used on the face or neck even though it can help clear dark spots in these areas. This is because clobetasol is classified as a super potent topical corticosteroid and lower potency corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone may be more appropriate to use on the face if one is deemed necessary.

Can I use Dovate ointment for hair growth?

Dovate ointment contains clobetasol, this active ingredient is effective at stimulating hair growth. Studies have shown that clobetasol can stimulate 47%  hair regrowth in as early as six weeks into Dovate ointment treatment but may take up to 12 to 14 weeks to develop.

Why do people use Dovate cream for skin lightening?

Dovate cream and ointments are most times used as first-line treatment for both acute and chronic GVHD of the skin. However, Dovate ointment is used cosmetically for skin whitening, although this use is controversial.


Dr. Oche Otorkpa PG Cert, MPH, PhD

Dr. Oche is a seasoned Public Health specialist who holds a post graduate certificate in Pharmacology and Therapeutics, an MPH, and a PhD both from Texila American University. He is a member of the International Society of Substance Use Professionals and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health in the UK. He authored two books: "The Unseen Terrorist," published by AuthorHouse UK, and "The Night Before I Killed Addiction."
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