How To Use Topical Medication In A Right Way

Learn here how to use topical medication in a right way for treating your skin conditions.

A topical medication is a medication that is applied to the skin to treat the symptoms of a disease. From creams, foams, gels, ointments to lotions, there are various forms of topical medication. They are generally prescribed for a range of skin diseases like ringworm, muscle pain, sores, scabies, blisters, and infection.

Most people are not careful while applying these products to the skin. But these medicines enter the body just like the oral pills.

To ensure the maximum effect, it is important to apply the cream in a right way. Therefore, read the instructions or follow the guidelines of your doctor before using them. The medicine won’t be effective if used in a wrong way.

To educate you on the right usage of a topical medication, here are the things to keep in mind.

  • Break the seal with the needle locating on the cap top.
  • Always wash your hands before the application. The skin area to be treated should be washed to remove the traces or debris.
  • Apply the cream gently till it disappeared completely; don’t rub it over.
  • Keep the gap of half an hour before applying other ointments and lotions on the same part of the skin.
  • Shake the lotion before use.

Learn About the Right Quantity to Use Topical Ointment?

Most people are not aware of the right quantity of the topical medication. Well, you can use your fingertip to measure the right amount of the cream. It is defined by the cream’s length from the tip of the index finger to the first crease of finger. It is known as Finger Tip Unit or FTU. Here is the amount of FTU you must use on the affected parts of the skin.

Affected Part of the Skin Finger Tip Unit
Both sides of one hand One fingertip unit
One foot Two fingertip units
One arm Three fingertip units
One leg Six fingertip units
Chest and abdomen Seven fingertip units
Back and buttocks Seven fingertip units

Precautions to Keep in Mind:

  • Don’t use topical cream as your skincare product. Use them only on the affected parts.
  • Avoid using topical ointments to the areas under nappies or dressing.
  • Do not use them on faces unless you are advised by your physician to do so. If you have been told to do so, make sure to avoid applying near eye area.
  • Make sure to apply them in thin layers as to avoid the excessive absorption by the skin.
  • Avoid using the ointment for long periods as they may lead to skin thinness or weakening.
  • Avoid using the ointment or cream after its expiry date as it may be infected with germs and can worse your skin problems, besides being losing its efficiency.
  • Don’t share your medications with anyone else to apply, even if they have the same conditions like you have.
  • Apply the medicine as given on the label, or exactly as your physician prescribed you. Avoid using more than prescribed amount.
  • Talk to a pharmacist while buying OTC creams. Learn about their side-effects and know what to do if they occur.
  • Some topical medications like muscle rubs create a warming or cooling sensation when you’ve applied them. However, if you feel blistering or strong burning sensation, stop using them and see your doctor.

So these are some tips while using topical medication for your skin conditions. Make sure to read the instructions given on the label or recommended by a doctor.

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