Health Tip of the Week: Cream vs. lotion vs. ointment vs. gel


Hydrocortisone is sold over the counter, and is used for all sorts of skin rashes including eczema and contact dermatitis. Hydrocortisone comes in different vehicles such as creams, lotions, ointments and gels. Choose the best one for your particular skin condition.

• Creams: most common and versatile type; white color, somewhat greasy but absorb well into the skin

• Lotions: thinner than creams; easily absorbed without residue; can be drying; good in hairy areas

• Ointments: greasier, more moisturizing and stronger than creams; best for dry skin problems

• Gels: often alcohol based, so they can be drying; best for wet or oozing skin problems; also good on scalp or hairy areas

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