the difference between an ointment and a cream

What is the difference between an ointment and a cream? When to use an ointment and when to use a cream ?

Some of the drugs for topical use in children or adults are available in only one form – a cream or an ointment. In those cases there is no dilemma.

But some medications are available in both, so it is necessary to know the difference between them, and the indications for usage, so you will get the desired effect.

What are the differences between ointment and a cream?

Cream is water based, and as such the absorption through the skin is quick and evaporation is fast. A cream is usually very pleasant on the skin, and washes easily with water.

Ointment is oil based, and as such, absorption is slower, and there is minimal evaporation. In fact, oily ointment stays longer on the skin and seals it.

Ointment is usually less pleasant to apply (greasy).

When to use a cream or an ointment?

You can remember this rule – “wet on wet, dry on dry”. Meaning – if the skin is wet or moist, cream is preferred. If the skin is dry, ointment is better, since it will take longer to absorb, the skin moistness will be preserved and the active ingredient will work his magic.

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