Creams, gels, and ointments are all forms of medications that are thick, semisolid liquids that can be rubbed into the skin or inserted vaginally or rectally. They act locally as a vehicle to hold drugs in place allowing them to be absorbed into the skin. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist to see if a compounded cream, gel, or ointment is the right choice for you.
Creams are preparations of medications that have a water base and can be easily spread on the skin making them a better option when treating a larger area. Due to the water base, creams are typically more readily absorbed into the skin without leaving behind a sticky feeling.
Gels are transparent preparations containing medications mixed in water or a water-alcohol base. They liquefy on contact with the skin and leave a thin film of medication as it dries. This can mean that gels can tend to be drying, but are useful in hairy areas.
An ointment is a prepared medication that has a thick oil base meaning they have a higher concentration of oil compared to creams. This higher concentration of oil makes medications in an ointment slower to be absorbed by the skin, but the occlusive properties may enhance the penetration of active drugs and improve their efficacy. The oily nature can provide a protective film on the skin making it ideal for dry skin.
All creams, gel, and ointments are formulated differently. At Coast to Coast Compounding, we have many options to meet the needs of each patient so they get the therapy they need without issues or irritation.
Talk with your doctor or pharmacist to see if a compounded cream, gel, or ointment is the right choice for you.