Health Medicine

Difference between Ointment and Cream




  • Main Difference

    The two terms are interrelated with each other in a way that cream is the primary type of the things which fall into the same category while the ointment is just one of the types of cream which have distinct uses. The main difference between them can be explained in a way that ointment is an oily or soft form of chemical preparation that is rubbed on the skin for medical issues such as injuries, bruises, moles and other cosmetic issues. While cream can be defined as a thick paste which can be of varying color that is used for cosmetics or medical purposes and has to be applied on the skin.

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    Comparison Chart

    Basis of Distinction Ointment Cream
    Definition An oily or soft form of chemical preparation that is rubbed on the skin for medical issues. A thick paste which can be of varying color that is used for cosmetics or medical purpose.
    Usage Strictly used for medical purposes. Used for various purposes such as beautifying, moisturizing and herbal
    Application Has to be applied several times a day. Has to be used once or twice a day.
    Color Colorless White or Yellow
    Constituents 70-80% oil and 20% water. Water, oil, emulsifier and thickening agent.
    Type Thicker Thinner
    Effectiveness Stays on skin for a longer time. Absorbed after few minutes.
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    Ointment

    oinmentThis is a form of a cream which is strictly used for medical purposes. It can be defined as an oily or soft type of chemical preparation that is rubbed on the skin for medical issues such as injuries, bruises, moles and other cosmetic issues. The word has been originated from the Latin language term unguentum which was later taken by the French and converted into oignement, this was then brought to the English language as Ungent and then got its original form in the middle ages. More often than not, it is applied on the body surface such as skin to treat ailments which can be of any kind. They are available in several forms such as creams, lotions, gels, and foams but the main thing about is that they are only to be used externally and not eaten. This can be explained even better as a homogeneous greasy oil which is more than 70% along with water and another mineral which complete the mixture and is used to heal the body issues which arise due to physical and internal problems. There is a limit to the amount of water that can be added to it and therefore the water number is mentioned on every ointment. The primary purpose is to heal the body and has nothing to do with beautifying it. They are moisturizing and therefore, considered suitable for dry skins where they act at a faster rate. It a skin is moist, they are not able to perform their action at a fast rate and have to be applied several times before they show some improvement in the problem.

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    Cream

    creamThis is a broader term which is used for liquid forms of so many things. This can be defined as a thick paste which can be of varying color that is used for cosmetics or medical purposes and has to be applied on the skin. The word was originated from the Late Latin term cramum or chrisma and then modified by the French to cresme, and it then reached its current form as it is now. There is no one use of this thing and can be utilized for several purposes. They are also to be used for external purposes only and can be applied from the face to rectum to feet. This should not be confused with the cream which is obtained from milk. They can be categorized based on the technology that has been used. Some of them are just for beautifying purposes such as making the skin color fair or giving a fresh look to the body. There are other types which help in making the skin dry or moist depending on the requirement of the person. The other ones are just for medical purposes such as moles or roughed up the skin and improve the face features. They are also used for cleansing purposes of removing impurities from the skin. They have one or more substances which are added to the mixture and therefore are fatal if someone tries to eat them. It has water and other minerals in equal amounts and therefore helps in working for the outer layer of the human body. The most common creams will include water, oil, emulsifier and thickening agent.

    Key Differences

    • An ointment can be defined as an oily or soft form of chemical preparation that is rubbed on the skin for medical issues such as injuries, bruises, moles and other cosmetic issues. While cream can be defined as a thick paste which can be of varying color that is used for cosmetics or medical purposes and has to be applied on the skin.
    • An ointment has at least 20% of water in its constituents while the amount of water varies in cream and is usually more than an ointment.
    • An ointment is used for medical purposes only while cream can be utilized for various purposes such as beautifying.
    • An ointment costs more than cream while cream has prices much higher than any other forms.
    • The cream absorbs quickly into the skin while an ointment takes much more time to absorb.
    • An ointment is thicker in nature because of more oil while the cream is thinner in quality because of less oil in the preparation.
    • An ointment stays longer on the human body while cream stays for a lesser time.
    • An ointment is usually colorless or white in color while the cream is usually available in various colors such as white, yellow and green.

    Video Explanation

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