Mometasone for skin

About mometasone for skin

Mometasone skin treatments are used to treat itching, swollen and irritated skin. They can help with different types of eczema (including atopic dermatitis and seborrheic dermatitis) and psoriasis.

Mometasone skin treatments are available on prescription only. They come as:

They are stronger than some other treatments. Mometasone is usually prescribed when milder steroids, like hydrocortisone, have not worked.

Mometasone is a type of medicine known as a steroid (also called a corticosteroid). This is not the same as an anabolic steroid.

It also comes as an inhaler and a nasal spray.

Read about:

Key facts

Who can and cannot use mometasone for skin

Most adults and children aged 2 years and older can use mometasone skin treatments.

Mometasone may not be suitable for some people. Tell a doctor or pharmacist before using it if you:

How and when to use mometasone for skin

How to use mometasone cream or ointment

Always follow the instructions from a pharmacist, doctor or the leaflet that comes with your medicine.

Creams are better for skin that is moist and weepy. Ointments are thicker and greasier, and are better for dry or flaky areas of skin.

You will usually use mometasone cream or ointment once a day.

The amount of cream or ointment you need to use is sometimes measured in fingertip units. This is the amount you can squeeze onto the end of your finger.

A fingertip unit of cream is generally enough to treat an area that’s twice the size of the palm of your hand.

How to apply cream or ointment

For children, the right amount of cream or ointment depends on their age. A doctor or pharmacist can advise you.

  1. Wash and dry your hands and then squeeze out the right amount.
  2. Spread the cream or ointment in a thin layer over the area of irritated skin.
  3. Carefully smooth it into your skin in the direction that your hair grows.
  4. Use the cream or ointment on all the irritated skin, not just the worst areas.
  5. Be careful not to get the cream or ointment on broken skin or cuts.
  6. Wash your hands afterwards (unless you are treating the skin on your hands).

Wait at least 10 minutes before using any other creams or ointments.

How to apply mometasone scalp lotion

If you need to use a dressing, like a bandage or plaster, wait at least 10 minutes after putting mometasone on.

If you're treating a child, do not cover the cream or ointment with dressings or bandages. This can cause more medicine to pass through the skin and into the bloodstream, leading to a higher chance of side effects. If your doctor has prescribed it to treat very severe nappy rash, ask them how much to use and how long to use it for.

You will usually use the scalp lotion once a day.

You can use it on wet or dry hair.

  1. Wash and dry your hands.
  2. Unscrew the bottle cap and place the nozzle directly on your scalp.
  3. Apply a few drops of scalp lotion to the affected area of the scalp.
  4. Gently massage until the lotion disappears.
  5. Wash your hands afterwards.

Will my dose go up or down?

Once your skin starts getting better, do not stop using mometasone suddenly. Speak to your doctor, who might tell you to gradually reduce your dose or give you a milder steroid cream or ointment to use until you stop completely.

How long will I use mometasone for?

Most people only need to use mometasone skin treatments for a short time. Stop as soon as your skin is better. You will usually only use it for a few days.

Children must not use mometasone skin treatments for more than 5 days, unless their doctor says to use it for longer.

If your doctor says you can use mometasone on your face, then it’s usually OK to use it for up to 5 days. Only use the cream or ointment for longer than 5 days if your doctor tells you to.

Speak to your doctor if your skin gets worse or does not get better within 14 days of using mometasone skin treatments.

What if I use too much?

Using too much mometasone is unlikely to harm you.

If you’re worried, talk to a doctor or pharmacist.

What if I forget to put it on?

If you forget to use your mometasone, do not worry. Use it as soon as you remember unless it’s nearly time for your next dose. In this case, skip the missed dose and apply the next one at the usual time.

Side effects

Serious side effects

Mometasone skin products are unlikely to cause any side effects if you follow the instructions.

Some people get a burning or stinging feeling for a few minutes when they put mometasone on their skin. This stops happening after you’ve been using it for a few days.

If your doctor has prescribed high doses of mometasone, or you’re also taking other steroid medicines or tablets for fungal infections or HIV, you may get underactive adrenal glands as a side effect. Ask your doctor if you need to carry a steroid emergency card.

Serious side effects are rare. You’re more likely to have a serious side effect if you use mometasone on a large area of skin for a long time.

Using mometasone for a long time can make your skin thinner or cause stretch marks. Stretch marks are likely to be permanent, but they usually fade over time.

Stop using mometasone and tell a doctor straight away if:

Children and teenagers

In very rare cases, using mometasone for a long time can slow down the normal growth of children and teenagers.

Your child's doctor will monitor their height and weight carefully for as long as they're using this medicine. This will help them to notice if your child's growth is being affected and change their treatment if needed.

Even if your child's growth slows down, it does not seem to have much effect on their overall adult height.

Talk to your doctor if you're worried. They will be able to explain the benefits and risks of your child using mometasone.

Serious allergic reaction

It happens rarely but it is possible to have a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to mometasone.

These are not all the side effects of mometasone. For a full list see the leaflet inside your medicines packet.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Mometasone in pregnancy

Mometasone skin treatments are not normally recommended if you're pregnant.

Only use mometasone if your doctor or dermatologist (skin specialist) prescribes it and is supervising your treatment. They will be able to explain the benefits and risks of using mometasone.

Mometasone and breastfeeding

Only use mometasone when breastfeeding if your doctor has said it's OK.

If you're using mometasone on your breasts, wash off any cream or ointment from your breasts, then wash your hands before feeding your baby.

It's usually better to use cream rather than ointment when breastfeeding, as it's easier to wash off.

For more information about how mometasone for skin might affect you and your baby during pregnancy, read this leaflet about steroid creams and ointments on the Best Use of Medicines in Pregnancy (BUMPs) website.

Cautions with other medicines

Mixing mometasone with herbal remedies and supplements

Other medicines are unlikely to affect the way mometasone skin treatments work.

Tell a pharmacist or doctor if you’re taking:

There's very little information about taking herbal remedies and supplements while using mometasone. Ask a pharmacist for advice.

Common questions about mometasone for skin

How does mometasone work? When will my skin get better? How long will I use mometasone for? Is it safe to use mometasone for a long time? Can I use mometasone skin treatments on my face? Can steroids make eczema worse? Can I still have vaccinations? Do I need a steroid card? Can I drink alcohol with it? Is there any food or drink I need to avoid? Will it affect my fertility? Will it affect my contraception? Can I drive or ride a bike?