Care of "applicator fingertip"

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When I was first diagnosed with LS by a gyno and trotted off to the pharmacy with my prescription for Clobetasol I had a number of questions for the pharmacist, one of which was whether the ointment would also affect the fingertip I used to apply it. She responded no, that it wouldn't have any effect.

Here is an example of a time when I should have just following my own instincts and common sense. I have been applying Clob daily for about two months now with the same fingertip, which I wash excessively after each application. The other day I started flossing my teeth before bed and, as usual, guided the floss inside my mouth with various fingertips -- depending on which side I was flossing. Well, the next thing I know, right before my eyes as I manoevered the floss to my other hand, I saw and felt the floss break through the outer skin layer and slice down into the flesh of my fingertip. Kind of like a wire cheese cutter breaking through the outer skin of the cheese and slicing through, if you know what I mean.

Now I have started wrapping a piece of plastic wrap tightly around my fingertip in order to apply the Clob. It's not too cumbersome, and hopefully my fingertip will start to heal.

Has anyone else experienced this problem? What did you do?

Does this mean I am soon to expect cracking and tearing of the genital skin to which I apply Clobetasol?

1 like, 17 replies

17 Replies

  • Posted

    It is an interesting thought.  It didn't happen to me.  But over time I learned to use clob sparingly.  Only the tiniest amount.  At present with the use of baking soda and borax I seldom use clobetasol anymore.  (Just borax/baking soda baths and rinses.  Then apply a small amount of coconut oil.  And I keep a fairly strict diet- no added sugar, no gluten, no alcohol, no caffeine and limited dairy.  Plus regular dilation.)   

    • Posted

      Wow... sounds like quite the regimen. But I imagine you developed it over time so it would be easier to adjust and fit it into your daily routine.

      Would you happen to know what it is about coconut oil that helps?

    • Posted

      I'm not a scientist, but I read that coconut oil has the qualities of anti bacterial and anti fungal.  Next to being a good moisturizer and lubricator.

    • Posted


      ive got a sitz bath , last time I used borax it burnt me . How much do u use . It's a 2 litre bath 

    • Posted

      A bit of trial and error.  How much did you first put in?  Start small, perhaps a few table spoons and see how that goes. 
    • Posted

      Hi Sarah I bought a portable bidet and use a slightly mounded teaspoon  

       As Hanny says it’s a trial and error     Best to start off small n work up.   Be mindful of exactly what Borax is !! 

      Where did you get your Borax from ?? That is important due to impurities    

      I use 20 Mule Team Borax  the one recommended as 99.9% pure   

      Hope all goes well Sarah 😘

  • Posted

    I have had LS over 16 years not had that problem 

    Though like Hanny my diet has changed over time to

    not include sugar (as much as possible ) no dairy (coconut n almond milk)  very little caffeine 

    Never use dermovate only a little smidgen of Betnovate ointment occasionally. 

    Rest of time borax  3 times week n coconut oil daily 

    this has been working for several months 🤞🏻🙏🏻 

    Well done Hanny on the alcohol front 🥇😇

    I am a fallen woman at the weekend 🍷🍷🍷 😂 X

    • Posted

      Thanks for your comments, Sedg. Sounds like you have a very good diet established!
  • Posted

    Hi Metta

    I have been using clob for 3 years now twice weekly and only a little. I squeeze a pea size amount and then place the clob on the tube then take a little at a time and rub in. My fingers are fine. I also have baking soda baths and diet restrictions.

    Hope this helps. Ps always wash hands before and after

    Kay 🙃

    • Posted

      Hi Kay,

      I have been washing my hands, and especially the applicator finger, excessively after every single application. That is why I am surprised this happened. However, in reading your and others' comments, I wonder if it might be due to the frequency of application. I've been applying Clob every single day for over two months now (1/4 to 1/2 a pea-sized glob). My gyno wants me to continue this for another two months, but I'm thinking maybe I should slow it down a little.

      Anyway, thanks very much for your comments everyone.


  • Posted

    I haven't had this problem either, and I've been using clobetasol for around 7 years.  Even when I do increase to a daily dose for a flare up I haven't experienced thinning of the skin on my fingertips.  You literally need a pea-sized amount spread thinly over the entire surface of the affected area, so make sure you aren't using too much.

    If you've been using it daily for 2 months, talk to your doctor again about cutting back usage if your symptoms have improved.  Try every other day and then taper down gradually.  Do NOT try cutting back to occasional use without gradually tapering down--you will probably experience a horrible flare-up (I know this from experience).  Take baking soda baths (daily if you want, they can only help, not hurt) and start using coconut oil once daily.

    Clobetasol does thin the skin and make it more susceptible to tearing in the genital area.  Using an oil like coconut or emu helps, as well as just being careful with your fingernails while washing or applying clob (and not scratching!!!) and dabbing gently when you pee rather than wiping.  

    • Posted

      Thank you very much for your reply, Viv.

      Actually, I wonder if I've been using too little... my doctor said to use 1/4 of a pea's worth of Clob each day and her assistant scared me about using any more than that, so I really stuck to it even though there didn't seem to be enough to spread over the entire area and the itching and atrophy wasn't stopping. It was only after reading posts on this site that I realized people were using more than 1/4 of a pea's worth, so I upped my daily amount to about 1/2 a pea's size. It seemed logical to me that to first get the LS under control, I should bombard it. And, after upping my dosage, the atrophying seemed to subside. However, now I am feeling exactly as you suggested... that I should begin tapering off. Not the amount, but the frequency. So I've just started going two days between applications instead of every day. We'll see how it goes! I wonder if it was the fact that I was applying Clob daily that thinned the skin on my finger? No matter. I'm continuing with the plastic wrap and the slice into my "applicator finger" is healing up nicely.

      I would like to talk to my gyno about this, but she won't see me again until four months is up. So I am grateful for this site because I feel it is time to taper off and I am reading positive information about doing so from numerous posts here. I will also invest in some organic coconut oil and begin experimenting with that!

      Thanks again, Viv.


    • Posted

      Oh, it definitely sounds like you weren't using enough, especially considering the fact that you are newly diagnosed and trying to get your symptoms under control for the first time.  How are your symptoms at the moment?  If you are still experiencing a fair amount of itching and atrophy, I definitely wouldn't taper off yet.  Start adding in supplemental home treatments first.  Take a baking soda bath at night and apply the clob while your skin is still soft from the warm bath--this helps it spread more easily and soak in better.  Use the coconut oil once daily.  Give it about a week this way and then I'd be willing to bet you'll start seeing a difference.  At that point, I would start tapering down to using the clob every other day.  Good luck!

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