d. Creams. Creams are an intermediate preparation between wet dressings
that dry the skin lesion and ointments that keep lesions moist. Creams are semisolid,
have a high percentage of water, are water-washable and don't leave the greasy
residue after use that ointments leave. Additionally, creams absorb fluids from the skin.
Cream spreads so easily on the skin that any medication dissolved in the cream comes
in good contact with the skin.
e. Paste. Paste is a suspension of twenty percent to fifty percent powder in a
greasy ointment base. Thicker and drier than ointments, paste does not penetrate as
well as ointments but does not seal the wound as completely as ointments. Do not use
paste on weeping lesions or hairy areas.
f. Ointments. An ointment is a preparation in which a drug is suspended or
dissolved in a grease or oil base. Substances which may be used as a base include
petrolatum, liquid petrolatum (mineral oil), olive oil, lanolin, and other animal fats.
Ointments penetrate thickened lesions and act as an emollient (that is, soften skin and
and by trapping moisture may cause tissue to be softened from moisture. Do not apply
ointment to hairy areas of the body because the ointment may penetrate to the base of
a hair follicle causing folliculitis.
g. Other Types of Medication. Medication for skin problems also comes in the
form of soaps, shampoos, and sprays. Each of these is used to treat particular skin
(1) Soaps and soap substitutes. When regular soaps cause the skin to
become excessively dry and irritated, a neutral soap called Oilatum can be used.
People with oily skin can use Fostex cake, Lava soap, and Acne-Aid detergent soap.
Two other medicated soaps are Gamophen and Mycoderm. If soap proves too
irritating to a person's skin, try soap substitutes such as Lowilacake, Acidolate,
pHisoderm, or pHisoHex.
(2) Shampoos. These medicated shampoos are used to treat seborrheic
dermatitis, a common skin disorder which can range from mild to severe. The skin
lesions are reddish plaques with yellow, greasy scales and usually appear on the scalp,
the middle of the face, the middle of the body, the eyebrows, and the ears. Shampoos
used to treat this skin problem include Capsebon, Sebulex, Betadine, Domerine,
Ar-Ex Tar, Fostex Cream, and Alvinine. If the skin condition is caused by head lice
and their eggs, use Kwell shampoo. To use these shampoos most effectively, wet the
hair with warm water and apply the shampoo as you would any shampoo. Allow the
lather to remain on the scalp for at least five minutes. Wash the shampoo out of the
hair; no special rinse or cleansing agent is necessary. Although medicated, these
shampoos have a pleasant odor and leave the hair feeling soft. These shampoos are
normally used several times a week as recommended by the doctor. Kwell need only
be used once for treatment of lice.