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Your healthcare provider may prescribe desonide gel if you have a mild-to-moderate case of atopic dermatitis. This steroid medication is applied to the affected area twice a day, and should be used sparingly to avoid serious problems. It works by suppressing the immune system and decreasing inflammation. Common side effects include rash, itching, and burning.

What Is Desonide Gel?

Desonide gel (Desonate®) is a prescription skin medication. It belongs to a group of medications known as topical steroids and is used to treat mild-to-moderate atopic dermatitis in people age three months and older. Atopic dermatitis is commonly referred to as "eczema."
(Click What Is Desonide Gel Used For? for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)

Are There Side Effects?

Just like any medicine, desonide gel may cause side effects. However, not everyone who uses it will experience problems.
In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider. Serious reactions are less common.
The most common side effects of this medication include:
  • Burning
  • Rash
  • Itching.
(Click Desonide Gel Side Effects to learn more, including potentially serious side effects you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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