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Clobetasol propionate is a powerful medication that can effectively treat many skin conditions, including plaque psoriasis and eczema. However, this drug will not be the best fit for everyone. In these cases, exploring clobetasol propionate alternatives with a doctor is the next step.

Always consult your doctor for using clobetasol anywhere or in any way other than prescribed.

Clobetasol Propionate Alternatives

What are your options when it comes to alternatives? The following are popular alternative therapies.

For Acne

Patients should not use clobetasol propionate–in the forms of Clobex spray, Clobex lotion, and Temovate cream–for treating conditions on the face, in the armpits, or in and around the groin. Therefore, it may not be the best option for treating acne in these areas. For such cases, tetracycline antibiotics may be the solution. Popular tetracycline antibiotics for the treatment of acne vulgaris include:

  • Doxycycline (Doxy-100, Monodox, Oracea)
  • Minocycline (Minocin)
  • Tetracycline (Actisite, Achromycin V)

For Vulvar Itching

Clobetasol propionate is only for topical (on skin) use, but that does not include use on the groin. Therefore, this medication is not the best option for treating vulvar itching. Treating vulvar itching will depend on what exactly is causing the condition, which could be anything from an STI like chlamydia to menopause to a simple yeast infection.

When it comes to treating STIs (formerly known as STDs), there are several options. Again, it ultimately comes down to what specifically is causing the infection (i.e., a parasite, fungus, bacteria, or virus) and the individual patient. Popular STI treatments include:

  • Antibiotics/Antiparasitics (e.g., doxycycline [Doxy-100, Monodox, Oracea])  for conditions like gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis
  • Antifungals for vaginal yeast infections (e.g., miconazole [Monistat, Zeasorb, Micatin, Miconazole 7]), which can spread in some cases through sexual contact
  • Antivirals [e.g., acyclovir (Sitavig, Zovirax), valacyclovir (Valtrex)] for conditions like HIV/AIDS or herpes

Menopause can result in vaginal and vulvar itching (vulvar pruritus) in a few ways, mostly through the decreased levels of estrogen in the system. This decrease can result in skin and tissues drying and thinning inside the vagina, which is known as atrophic vaginitis or vaginal atrophy. When it comes to treating menopause-related itching, options include:

  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Moisturizers specifically designed for use in the vulvar area

When it comes to treating vulvar itching resulting from a vaginal yeast infection, options include:

  • Clotrimazole (Canesten, Gyne-Lotrimin)
  • Miconazole (Monistat, Zeasorb, Micatin, Miconazole 7)
  • Tioconazole (Trosyd, Gyno-Trosyd)

For Poison Ivy

The iconic pink calamine lotion is one of the most recognized treatments for this condition. Fortunately, unlike clobetasol, it is readily available over the counter at most pharmacies. Other options for managing contact dermatitis resulting from poison ivy include over-the-counter (OTC) hydrocortisone creams (e.g., Cortizone 10), which function similarly to clobetasol, although they are much less potent.

For Scalp

Ketoconazole (Xolegel, Nizoral A-D, Nizoral) is a topical antifungal medication that can treat conditions like seborrhoeic dermatitis. While patients can see desirable results with alternating ketoconazole and clobetasol propionate therapies, monotherapy use of ketoconazole shampoo can also provide relief for itching scalps.

For Ringworm

Despite the name, ringworm is not caused by a worm or parasite, but rather by a fungal infection. That means that antifungal medications are the solution for this condition. That being said, the severity of the infection and where it occurs will determine the best course of treatment. Treatment for ringworm includes:

  • OTC antifungals for infections of the skin, such as clotrimazole (Canesten, Lotrimin, Mycelex) and ketoconazole (Xolegel,Nizoral A-D, Nizoral, Extina)
  • Prescription antifungals for infections of the scalp, such as fluconazole (Diflucan) and griseofulvin (Grifulvin V, Gris-PEG)

For Hair Loss

Limited research suggests that clobetasol propionate may help with hair regrowth for those suffering from alopecia areata. However, this option is oftentimes not the best way to treat this condition. Alternative ways to manage alopecia include:

  • Minoxidil (5% topical solution)
  • Dithranol (anthralin, Drithocreme HP, Zithranol)

For Yeast Infection (Vaginal Candidiasis, Candidal Vaginitis, Candidal Vulvovaginitis)

Vaginal yeast infections result from an infection of candida fungus; that means treating these infections requires an antifungal medication. Options for treating a vaginal yeast infection include:

  • Clotrimazole (Canesten, Gyne-Lotrimin)
  • Miconazole (Monistat, Zeasorb, Micatin, Miconazole 7)
  • Tioconazole (Trosyd, Gyno-Trosyd)

For Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoid treatment often involves improvement of the patient’s diet, medications, and sometimes surgery. Clobetasol propionate is incredibly powerful; typically, people use less-potent steroids like hydrocortisone creams to manage this condition. Other over-the-counter options for managing hemorrhoids include:

  • Preparation H
  • EmuaidMAX
  • Up&Up Hemorrhoid Maximum Strength Cream

For Jock Itch

While clobetasol propionate is great for certain conditions, it is not meant to be used on the groin. Therefore, this medication may not be the best choice for managing jock itch. Instead, OTC antifungal medications are a better alternative. These options include:

  • Clotrimazole (Canesten, Gyne-Lotrimin)
  • Miconazole (Monistat, Zeasorb, Micatin, Miconazole 7)
  • Terbinafine [Lamisil, Jock Itch (terbinafine), Athlete’s Foot AF]

For Eczema

Fortunately, many options are available to treat this condition, including:

  • Azathioprine (Azasan, Imuran)
  • Methotrexate [Otrexup (PF), Xatmep, Trexall, Rasuvo]
  • Prednisone (Rayos, Prednisone Intensol, Deltasone)

For Hives

Typical treatment for hives (urticaria) involves the use of antihistamines, commonly referred to as allergy medications. Fortunately, many antihistamines are available over the counter. Popular OTC options include:

  • Cetirizine [Zyrtec, Aller-Tec, All Day Allergy (cetirizine)]
  • Diphenhydramine (Benadryl, Banophen, Nytol)
  • Fexofenadine [Allegra, Aller-ease, Aller-Fex, Wal-Fex Allergy, Children’s Wal-Fex, Children’s Allergy Relief(fex)]
  • Loratadine (Children’s Claritin, Claritin, Allerclear)

For Sunburn

Calamine lotion is great not just for poison ivy, but for helping to soothe irritating sunburns, too. Aloe vera can also help soothe heat-related discomfort from sunburns.

For Shingles

The varicella-zoster virus is well-known for causing chickenpox; what some people might not know is that this virus stays in the body for life. When this virus reactivates, it can result in shingles, or herpes zoster. While there is no cure for this condition, several medications and remedies can help make flare-ups more bearable. Read on here, to learn more about the side effects of the shingles shot.

Antivirals are common to use for shingles management. Such medications include:

  • Acyclovir (Sitavig, Zovirax)
  • Famciclovir (Famvir, Novartis)
  • Valacyclovir (Valtrex)

For Burns

Patients should not use clobetasol propionate on open wounds, atrophied areas, on the face, on the armpits, on or around the groin, and in other situations like severe burns. Severe burns, electrical burns, and chemical burns require immediate medical attention. For less-severe cases, at-home treatment options include:

  • Aloe vera
  • Cold water (do not place ice directly on the wound)
  • Lidocaine (Lidoderm, Lidocaine Viscous, Recticare)

For Warts

Viruses cause warts; since doctors typically advise against using clobetasol for the treatment of viral lesions, other medications are more appropriate for managing warts. Treatment options include:

  • Cryotherapy (freeze treatment)
  • Laser treatment
  • Salicylic acid, found in many OTC remedies and products

For Poison Oak

Calamine lotion is readily available over the counter at most pharmacies; this iconic pink lotion is well-known for management of poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac. Hydrocortisone creams (e.g., Cortizone 10) or even oatmeal baths or oatmeal-based products can also help.

Disclaimer: this article does not constitute or replace medical advice. If you have an emergency or a serious medical question, please contact a medical professional or call 911 immediately. To see our full medical disclaimer, visit our Terms of Use page.

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