Desonide Ointment (Desonate)

Desonide ointment is a mild corticosteroid to manage eczema

Desonide Ointment 0.05% is a topical corticosteroid used to treat skin irritation caused by conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.

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Strength Quantity Price Stock
0.05%1 x 15g tube$30.00In Stock
0.05%2 x 15g tubes$50.00In Stock
Prices exclude a prescription fee. Find out more
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Reviewed by Dr Roy Kedem, MD

Information last reviewed 11/03/20


What is Desonide ointment used for and what does it treat?

Desonide ointment is a topical medication used to treat several skin conditions such as dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis. 

How does Desonide ointment work?

Desonide is in a class of medications known as corticosteroids. It is a moderate-potency corticosteroid used to relieve itching, redness, swelling, and discomfort associated with several skin conditions. Desonide penetrates cells in the skin and inhibits the release of inflammatory substances, thereby reducing symptoms.  

When to use Desonide ointment

Desonide ointment can be used to manage inflammatory conditions of the skin.  It can only be obtained with a doctor's prescription. You cannot purchase Desonide over the counter.  You will need to make a doctor’s appointment with a medical professional for assessment before a prescription is provided. 

Where to buy Desonide ointment

To buy Desonide ointment, you can request it from Medzino, and if one of our doctors feels it is safe to prescribe, our pharmacy will ship it in plain discreet packaging right to your door. 


Active ingredient

Each gram of Desonide Ointment, 0.05% contains 0.5 milligrams in 1 gram of desonide in an ointment base. 

Inactive ingredients

The desonide is held in an oil base that consists of mineral oil and white petrolatum. 

Which ingredients in Desonide ointment can cause an allergic reaction?

Desonide - the active inrgedient -  can cause skin rashes, including hives, itching, and swelling of the face, lips, or tongue if you are severely allergic to the medication. If you notice any of these symptoms, stop using the ointment immediately, and proceed to a local emergency room. 


How to apply Desonide ointment

Always follow the instructions on the leaflet or from your doctor when using the Desonide ointment. Desonide ointment should be applied to the affected area 2 to 4 times a day. Make sure to use the ointment sparingly; only apply the smallest amount that will cover the affected area. Make sure to wash your hands after applying the ointment, unless you are also treating your hands. When the condition is controlled, the ointment should be stopped. If the ointment has not led to improvement after two weeks, let the doctor know, as they may reassess the diagnosis and treatment. 

Side Effects

Desonide side effects

Most medications come with side effects. It is important to be aware of the common side effects of Desonide ointment to make sure you can keep an eye out for them. Some of these side effects might be present at the start of the treatment but then resolve after the body adjusts to the medication. If these side effects do not resolve after a week, make sure to let your health professional know. 

More common side effects

  • Body aches or pain
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Difficulty with breathing
  • Ear congestion
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Loss of voice
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  •  Sneezing
  •  Sore throat
  •  Unusual tiredness or weakness

Less common side effects

  • Hoarseness
  • Irritability
  • Noisy breathing
  • Tender, swollen glands in the neck
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Trouble with swallowing
  • Voice changes

If you notice any of these side effects, make sure to check with your doctor immediately:

  • Blistering, burning, crusting, dryness, or flaking of the skin
  • Burning, itching, redness, skin rash, swelling, or soreness at the application site
  • Flushing or redness of the skin
  • Irritation
  • Itching, scaling, severe redness, soreness, or swelling of the skin
  • Peeling of the skin
  • Raised, dark red, wart-like spots on the skin, especially when used on the face
  • Stinging and burning
  • Unusually warm skin


According to the FDA, Desonide ointment does not have any contraindications, unless you have a history of sensitivity to any of the active and inactive ingredients to the ointment. It is important to make sure you let the prescribing doctor know of any medications or other treatments you are taking so they have all the relevant information to safely prescribe Desonide.

Adverse reactions

There is a 6% incidence rate for adverse reactions associated with the use of Desonide ointment. The adverse reactions to the ointment are:

  • Erythema (redness of the skin)
  • Induration (thickening of the skin)
  • Pruritus (itchiness of the skin)
  • Irritation 
  • Oiliness
  • Peripheral edema (accumulation of fluid causing swelling)

Treatment Options

What forms of Desonide are available?

Desonide also comes as a cream, lotion, foam, and gel. Other corticosteroid creams can also be used to treat eczema. 

Other corticosteroids for eczema treatment


Hydrocortisone is another corticosteroid used to treat eczema and psoriasis. It relieves redness, itching, and swelling. Hydrocortisone is available by prescription and over-the-counter as a less potent (strong) variation. It is less potent than Desonide.


Triamcinolone is another corticosteroid cream used to treat various skin conditions, including eczema, psoriasis, and poison ivy (contact dermatitis). 


Clobetasol is a corticosteroid available as a lotion, foam, ointment, emollient cream, gel/jelly, spray, shampoo, and solution. It works to relieve itching, swelling, redness, and general discomfort caused by skin conditions. The cream and ointment are mainly used to treat eczema, while the other forms are more specific to psoriasis. This medication is only available by prescription with a doctor's note. 


Fluticasone, the generic version of Cutivate and Beser, is also a corticosteroid treatment. It contains a medication called fluticasone propionate, which treats swelling, itching, redness, and irritated skin. It is normally prescribed for itching and inflammation caused by skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and cutaneous lupus. It cannot be used for other skin conditions such as rosacea, acne, or other viral skin infections.  


Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. You and your physician will determine if and how you should take any medication prescribed to you following a medical consultation.

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