Difference between cream and ointment

Creams and Ointments, what’s the difference, which is best?

difference between cream and ointment

What's the difference between a cream and an ointment? A cream is a preparation of a medication for topical use (on the skin) that contains a water base.

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Question: What's the difference between an ointment, a cream and a lotion? Answer: Ointments, creams and lotions are different ways to formulate over-the-counter products or medicines. An ointment is 80 percent oil and 20 percent water. A cream is 50 percent oil and 50 percent water. A lotion is similar to a cream but it's an even lighter or less thick formulation. Any of these can be used with different over-the-counter products or drugs, depending on whether your skin is dry or oily. And so you want to ask your dermatologist if you have a prescription medication, which of these formulations is best for you.

A cream is generally a water based. It is the preparation of oil in a water whereas Ointment is an oil based. It is the preparation of water in an oil.
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All are formulations that you put on the skin and all contain a mixture of oil and water. However, each has a slightly different composition; ointments contain a higher proportion of oil and are greasy compared with lotions, which have more water and are very light on the skin, and creams, which are somewhere in between the two. Ointments can leave marks on clothes which is unappealing to some patients. One of the functions of the skin is to regulate heat and water loss from our bodies. When creams, lotions or ointments are applied to the skin, the water they contain tends to evaporate, leaving the oil base on the skin. For this reason, creams and ointments are the best for dry hands in winter lotions can actually dehydrate the skin as the high water content evaporates, drying the skin out. For normal skin, a cream is appropriate, while for those with sensitive or eczema prone skin, an ointment would be beneficial.

They are the most absorbent and provide an occlusive barrier on the skin that prevents moisture loss, allowing the greatest benefit. The greasier the better, especially with dry, cracked skin. They are also good for allergic skin, sensitive skin and for skin that is not going to easily absorb, like psoriasis. To improve efficacy, you can even use a covering over the area. For example, if you have dry and cracked knuckles, apply the ointment and put on gloves. Typically a patient favorite, creams are useful when it might not be cosmetically appealing or realistic to use an ointment, such as on the face or under clothes, which might cause them to get ruined. However, they wash off easily and contain both preservatives and alcohol with can burn on allergic or cracked skin.



Do you know the difference between Ointments, Creams, and Lotions?

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What's The Difference Between An Ointment, A Cream And A Lotion?

Creams, ointments and gels are all effective at treating certain skin problems , but each is different in composition, absorption quality, and feel. Sometimes they have similar ingredients, but the formulation varies by product. Here's how to figure out which one is best for you and your skincare needs. The main difference is that cream and gel are generally water-based, while ointment is oil-based. Some creams contain oil, but at a lower concentration than in ointment. The oils used in both cream and ointment are often lanolin or petrolatum. Made from water and a thickening agent, such as a polymer or polysaccharide, gels are usually oil-free but may sometimes contain a small amount of oil.

Due to the harshness of winter, many people get dry skin and may need a cream or an ointment for relief. But what is the difference between a cream and an ointment? When is it best to use a cream or an ointment? Which one should you choose? A cream is a preparation of a medication for topical use that contains a water base.

3 thoughts on “Difference between cream and ointment

  1. A cream is a preparation of a medication for topical use on the skin that contains a water base.

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