Difference between Cream and Ointment

Topical medicine is the normal type of treatment for most disorders of skin. These both are type of medicines which are meant for external use and not for internal use. . They are the medications that are applied on the external layer of the skin and are not to be intake like all other medicines.


A cream is a mixture of water and oil in around equivalent extents. It penetrates the stratum corneum external layer of skin divider. Cream is thicker than moisturizer, so due to this reason it can be applied on the skin directly and keeps up its shape when expelled from its holder. For current steroid items, oil-in-water mixture is normal.


An ointment is actually viscous, homogeneous, semi-solid mixture, most usually an oily, thick with a high consistency that is expected for outside application to the skin or mucous layers. Ointment has a water quantity that characterizes the most extreme measure of water that it can contain.

Cream VS Ointment

In this article we are going to discuss the contrasts between these two mixtures so that we can easily understand these concepts.

  • Formulation:

Cream is fundamentally based on water. It is actually formulated oil in water.

An ointment is totally based on oil. It implies it is a readiness of water in oil.

  • Proportion:

Creams are for the most part made out of 50% water and 50 % oil. Be that as it may, there are many topical cream items with much lower oil segment.

An ointment comprises of almost 80% oil and 20 % water.

  • Spread ability:

Creams have lighter textures so these work better on the off chance that needs to cover extensive regions. The cream can be spread on large are on hand,Ointments are having thicker textures and are greasier. So it is unable to spread ointment over extensive territories of the skin. It has less spread ability factor.

  • Absorption:

Creams have a lighter texture that’s why it can be immediately consumed by the skin.

Ointments have thick texture so it remains longer on the surface of the skin and not effectively retained. Due to which a person who has applied ointment on the hand or on any area feels uncomfortable.

  • Best for:

Creams lead to skin dryness. So they are better utilized on sleek and oily skin conditions.

Ointments are more effective on dry skin. They will maintain the skin clammy for more time along these lines advancing quicker mending. So they act as a moisturizer for skin.

  • Preference:

Dermatologists regularly lean toward creams instead of ointment as creams have couple of fixings past the base oil or fat. Creams likewise have a low risk of irritation. Henceforth, they are perfect for individuals with delicate skin.

Ointment has more risk of irritation so dermatologists prefer it less. Because of its composition and proportion of water it is not save to use.

  • Moisturizing:

Creams are direct in moisturizing. Alike lotions, they are normally utilized for moisturizing, fundamentally for cosmetic use. Be that as it may, they might be medicated, particularly for aggravation, rashes and hypersensitivities, or other skin issues.

Ointments, then again, are normally medicated and are use for moisturizing.


From the above article we can conclude that due to low consistency in cream, it has more spread ability factor and can be absorbed by skin fast but ointment have thick tendency so it has low spread ability factor and absorbed by the skin very slow. Both have their own pons and cons and it is highly dependent on the use that which should be selected cream or ointment.