Thursday, June 30, 2011


*Public Service Announcement (for those who don't know)  ;)

Every so often, I feel as if I haven't done enough with my life, so I take it upon myself to do something to rectify the situation.  Today, I will pass on some knowledge that you may or may not already know.  If you don't know this already, it may save you some time if your doctor ever prescribes a little something for that 'rash' you have.

One of the first things that a doctor will prescribe for psoriasis (for example) is a topical medication.  They can possibly be effective and they are non-invasive, so topicals are a first choice.  The term 'topical medication' seems to be very straight-forward and uncomplicated, right?  WRONG!  I have found that there are, basically, three TYPES of topicals that can be prescribed.

The first type of topical that I'm familiar with is the lotion.  Now, when you think of lotions, you probably think of hand or body lotion--a creamy, free-flowing liquid that is quite a bit thicker than milk.  A topical medicine that is called a lotion is usually thin as water and colorless.  Lotions can be used rather easily on the scalp, but aren't usually used elsewhere on the body.

A cream is another form of topical meds.  Creams usually come in a tube that resembles toothpaste.  The advantage to creams are their being somewhat thicker and are usually quite easy to apply and absorb.  Creams are usually white in color.

The third topical is an ointment.  Ointments are what they sound like--they are petrolatum based and resemble Vaseline, both in color and texture.  The advantage to ointments is that they are great for keeping the skin moisturized, but they are messy and don't absorb into the skin very well.

Many topicals come in more than one form--I have had certain meds in all three forms.  And some work better in one form than in others.  It takes a bit of experimentation to find what works best--and I had many, many years worth of using them to get to where I know one from another.  I hope this little post helps someone at some time.  ;)

(Sorry this is so lame, but I am trying to get back in the groove of blogging on a semi-regular basis.  I certainly hope all of the topics I pick to write about aren't quite as boring.  :D)


Anonymous said...

aren't there topicals that are aerosol sprays, too?

Yup, kinda boring, but you never know, and something's better than nothing, which is what I have on MY blog! ;-)

cmk said...

These were just the most common forms of topicals, but yes, I do believe there are sprays, also. However, because of CPCs (I think that's correct), they might be phased out like the aerosol Lidocaine that the dermatologist used to spray on my skin when I'd get cortisone injections. Also, there are some meds that come in the form of a foam--and THOSE are very similar to hair mousse.