VERSUS: Ointments Vs Creams

24 Jun



When you go to a pharmacy, for most skin disorders (or what have you) you will find the same solutions formulated in ointment or creams.

Is the difference is mainly semantics?  NO. 

The two formulations have distinct differences which are important so you can choose which one is best for you. The type of formulation is the first difference between creams and ointments.



Cream is primarily water based. Basically, it is oil in water.


Ointment is based in oil. It means it is a preparation of water in oil.

-Look at the specific percentage of water and oil content of ointments and creams. An ointment consists of 80 percent oil and 20 percent water. Creams are generally composed of 50 percent water and 50 percent oil. Some cream products have much lower oil component.



Spreadability-ness  is a major difference between ointment and cream.

Ointments are greasier and they have thicker consistencies. One may not be able to spread ointments over large areas of the skin.


Creams have lighter consistencies so these work better if you want to cover large areas.

-Creams can be quickly absorbed by the skin. Ointments on the other hand stay longer on the surface of the skin and not easily absorbed. Ointments are best used on dry skin. They will keep the skin moist for longer periods thus promoting faster healing. Creams promote skin dryness. So they are better used on oily and greasy skin conditions.

DONT ASK ME, ASK YOUR DOCTOR IF YOU HAVE ONE which one is best for you !!!

Cream or Ointment.

The difference between creams and ointments boil down to their chief components. The former is water-based while the latter is oil-based.


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