Topical steroids, also known as corticosteroids or topical corticosteroids, are a class of medications used to reduce inflammation and treat various skin conditions. They are categorized into different classes based on their potency and are available in various forms, such as creams, ointments, lotions, and gels.

Here is a classification of topical steroids


  • Potent- Beclomethasone dipropionate (0.025%), Betamethasone benzoate (0.025%) ,Betamethasone valerate (0.12%), Halcinonide (0.1%), Clobetasol propionate (0.05%), Fluocinolone acetonide (0.025%), Fluocortolone (0.5%), Triamcinolone acetonide (0.1%), Dexamethasone sod. phos. (0.1%)
  • Moderately potent– Fluocinolone acetonide (0.01%), Fluocortolone (0.025%), Clobetasol butyrate (0.05%), Mometasone (0.1%), Fluticasone propionate (0.05%), Hydrocortisone acetate (2.5%)
  • Mild- Hydrocortisone acetate (0.1-1.0%), Hydrocortisone butyrate (0.001%)

Class I (Super-Potent)

These are the most potent topical steroids.

Often used for severe skin conditions.

Examples include:

  • Clobetasol propionate
  • Betamethasone dipropionate
  • Halobetasol propionate

Class II (Potent)

Potent steroids used for moderate to severe skin conditions.

Examples include:

  • Mometasone furoate
  • Fluocinonide
  • Desoximetasone

Class III (Upper Mid-Strength)

Used for various skin conditions, including eczema and psoriasis.

Examples include:

  • Triamcinolone acetonide
  • Fluticasone propionate
  • Betamethasone valerate

Class IV (Mid-Strength)

Moderately potent steroids used for less severe skin conditions.

Examples include:

  • Hydrocortisone butyrate
  • Fluocinolone acetonide
  • Alclometasone dipropionate

Class V (Lower Mid-Strength)

These are low to mid-strength steroids.

Used for mild to moderate skin conditions.

Examples include:

  • Hydrocortisone
  • Desonide
  • Prednicarbate

Class VI (Mild)

Mild topical steroids used for mild skin conditions and on the face.

Examples include:

  • Hydrocortisone acetate
  • Desonide (in lower concentrations)
  • Prednisone

Class VII (Least Potent)

The least potent topical steroids.

Used on the face and in sensitive areas.

Examples include:

  • Hydrocortisone (in lower concentrations)
  • Desonide (in lowest concentrations)
  • Prednisone (in lowest concentrations)


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