Ointment vs. Cream Benefits

Benefits of ointments

Benefits of Ointments 

Ointments are some of the most popular products used in skin treatment. Ointments are thick, greasy liquids. They provide lubrication to the skin and are generally used for treating dry skin, rashes and minor wounds.

Of all skin products, ointments contain the highest oil content. Their purpose is to have an occlusive effect that stays on top of the skin rather than being absorbed right away. This offers more skin protection against moisture loss and elements like dry air. 

Common ingredients found in ointments are mineral oil and petroleum. Topical medications, such as antibiotics for infections or corticosteroids for psoriasis, may be ideal in ointment form because they don’t evaporate easily. Extremely dry skin may also benefit from moisturizers in ointment form due to the same reasons.

Benefits of Creams

Creams are very helpful in making your skin shine and feel smooth. Depending on the ingredients of the cream, it can be a good moisturizer, a good cleansing agent or a good exfoliant.

Smoothening your skin and making it softer is possible with creams. Along with moisturizing your skin, the creams have other advantages like repairing, healing and protecting your skin from damage.

Creams are used for various purposes like anti-ageing and treating skin problems. Using a cream on a regular basis helps you in treating sunburn by soothing it. Creams can lighten blemishes and scars on the skin.

The best part about using creams is that they are easy to use and you can choose creams according to your preferences and as per your requirement. Some of these products work better when combined together as they complement each other. The best part about these products is that they are easily available and are cost-effective too.

Ointment vs Cream Benefits

Ointment and cream are both skin care products. But, they do have some major differences between them.

Ointments, unlike creams, may have a higher viscosity and can be more easily spread over areas of the skin. This can be particularly beneficial in treating dry skin conditions. 

However, that doesn't necessarily mean they are better than their creamy counterparts. In fact, many dermatologists don't prefer ointments for a variety of reasons. A cream contains more water and therefore more moisture than an ointment. With more moisture present, the skin will likely be able to retain more of it, which is why the cream is often preferable for dry skin conditions. 

Creams also tend to be better tolerated by patients who are extra-sensitive or have broken skin. Sometimes they are just easier to apply, which is an important consideration for elderly or infirm patients.

Creams usually have a lighter consistency as compared to ointments. With regards to appearance, unlike ointments, creams are invisible on your skin and are quickly absorbed. Ointments are thick and greasy. Since they leave a thick layer after you apply it to your skin, they might appear shiny.

The water-based creams can be applied to larger areas of your skin. If you have a rash over your whole back, a cream might be easier and less messy to apply as compared to an ointment. It is difficult to evenly spread an ointment over extensive parts of your skin.

Due to the absorbing properties of creams, they work best for conditions like eczema. They usually evaporate quicker than ointments. 

Ointments trap moisture and absorb much more slowly into the skin as compared to creams. They stay longer on the skin and so if you need medication to penetrate deep into your skin, you can opt for ointments.

In general, creams are better than ointments for treating oozing or wet skin conditions like eczema. Ointments are thicker and since they stay longer on the skin’s surface, they can add moisture to your skin and keep it hydrated for a long duration. They are ideal to treat dry and scaly skin conditions.

Both creams and ointments can be either medicinal or cosmetic but the primary difference lies in the ratio between oil and water. While creams are mostly water-based, ointments are oil-based. Before you decide on a cream or ointment, know more about your skin condition. If you are still not sure, consult a dermatologist for advice.

Choosing the right topical product among cream, ointment, lotion and gel depends on your skin type, as well as how much water and oil the product contains. Ointments contain the most oil, making them the best choice for extremely dry and cracked skin.

Creams have some oil, while lotions and gels contain more water. It may take a bit of trial and error to find the right product for your skin type.

Take Away

Creams give better results than ointments because they are more concentrated. They can penetrate the skin better, so they deliver the active ingredients deeper into the skin and allow the skin to absorb more of the product.

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