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Ointment vs. Cream: Which One Should You Buy?

Ointment vs. Cream: Which One Should You Buy?

There are numerous misconceptions when it comes to beauty products and medicines. Oftentimes, we will use an item for years and years without ever realizing how it actually works. This is especially true when it comes to ointments and creams.

How are creams and ointments different?

A lot of people don't understand the difference between medical ointments and creams. Most of them think that these are the same thing. However, there is a major difference between them.

A cream is prepared by mixing oil with water. There should be roughly 50% of each. On the other hand, ointments have a much higher concentration of oil, averaging around 80%. People usually prefer creams due to their texture. They are very easy to apply and can be quickly absorbed, unlike ointments.

Ointments are much different because of their high amount of oil. They don't absorb as well, which makes them a poor choice if you're getting ready to go outside. No matter what you're using, both creams and ointments are just carriers for the active ingredients with healing properties.

When should we use cream?

There are certain rules when using creams and ointments. Simply put, your physician will recommend a cream for certain situations and ointment for others.

Most people prefer using creams as they are not as sticky. They are awesome if your skin is wet or if you have to treat an issue that involves oozing. Creams are also much better if you have to cover a large surface of your skin.

When should we use an ointment?

Unlike creams, ointments are much better for dry skin. Because of the skin's inability to absorb ointments, the ointment will stay on top of your skin, thus trapping any excess moisture. This means that your skin will remain moist for a much larger period of time as there will always be water on top of it.

Ointments are especially great as medicine. When using an ointment, your body is able to absorb the majority of the active ingredient, which isn't the case with creams.

Lastly, they are much better for people with allergies, as they rarely cause irritations. 

Products in the form of creams and ointments

There are certain products that come in the form of cream as well as an ointment. In these cases, both solutions work well.

  • Topical steroids

These items can be used for various types of inflammations. Depending on their strength, they can be found in pharmacies or can be bought over-the-counter. Even though they come in both forms, it is something that will affect their potency.

  • Moisturizers

Ointments are much better for moisturizers. Still, there are a lot of creams that are used as moisturizers. Perhaps the best example of this is Vaseline. You can go with both cream or ointment, and they will provide similar results.

  • Antibiotics

Antibiotics also come in the shape of ointments and creams. They can be used for various issues and, in particular, common injuries. People use antibiotic creams and ointments to deal with burns, cuts, scrapes, and so on.

Conclusion

If you're forced to choose between cream and ointment, keep in mind that it's always much better to consult with a medical professional beforehand. There are some differences between the two, but you should still try to find an optimal solution. 

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