Advantages & Disadvantages of Ointments

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People use ointments for a variety of reasons, such as soothing pain and oftentimes to medicate themselves. It is important for consumers to take responsibility and know what the benefits and adverse effects are of using ointments.

Effective Topical

Some ointments show improvement when used to treat skin diseases, such as psoriasis and fifth disease. Ointments have shown to relieve infective eye diseases too.


Ointments are used as moisturizers—normally a combination of 80 percent oil and 20 percent water. This combination locks in moisture more effectively than creams and lotions, which are normally made with more water.


Ointments are simple to apply on the skin and other areas. There is no need for complicated procedures.

Side Effects

Strong ointments and improper use may cause such problems as skin allergies, dryness, lesions and even a permanent thinning of the skin.


Ointments, which can be petroleum- or oil-based, tend to be greasy and occlusive.