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The ointment ( Latin Unguentum , short Ungt. ) Is a semi-solid, soft, spreadable and homogeneous-looking preparation that is intended for use on the skin (e.g. as a healing ointment) or on the mucous membranes . It is used for the local application of medicinal substances or for the care and protection of the skin or mucous membranes.


Ointments consist of a hydrophobic or hydrophilic base (often fat or oil ) made from natural or synthetic substances . Technologically, these are single-phase systems in which the active ingredients are dissolved , suspended or emulsified depending on their nature .

The release of medicinal substances from suspension ointments can be calculated using the Higuchi equation .


Generally and colloquially , the name (skin) cream or paste is used synonymously .


Examples of ointments and ointment bases from pharmacopoeias and pharmaceutical recipe collections include:

  • Hydrophilic ointment ( ointment emulsificans water absorbing ointment with a faint odor, the emulsifying cetylstearyl, viscous:) paraffin and petroleum jelly contains.
  • Cetomacrogol ointment ( Unguentum cetomacrogolis )
  • Water-containing cetyl ointment ( Unguentum cetylicum cum aqua ): ointment containing cetyl alcohol with a high water content.
  • Wool wax alcohol ointment ( Unguentum Alcoholum Lanae or Unguentum adeps lanae ), for example Eucerin , an ointment that contains vaseline and wool wax alcohols ( Eucerit )
  • Soft ointment ( Unguentum molle ): consists of vaseline and wool wax , smooth and clearly greasy.
  • Zinc ointment ( Unguentum Zinci ): wound ointment with zinc oxide
  • Lanolin DAB : a water-absorbent ointment base made from 65 parts wool wax, 15 parts viscous paraffin and 20 parts water
  • Lanolin Ph. Helv .: A water-absorbent ointment base made from 70 parts wool wax, 10 parts virgin olive oil and 20 parts water


The ointment as a spreadable medicine was already a widespread medicinal form in antiquity and the Middle Ages . The gray ointment known from the shaggy song and in soldiers' jargon (also Des Sanitätsgefreiten Neumann's gray ointment ) was an ointment with a high content of mercury used before the invention of antibiotics for the treatment of syphilis . In politics and business, white ointment is used to describe measures that, viewed from the outside, act like control measures, but have no effect. The name is derived from the placebo effect (simple skin cream ("white ointment") is applied to small children in the event of minor injuries or states of anxiety). As a "white ointment" (Latin ointment album ) but they also referred to earlier one from white lead preparation (produced unguentum cerussa ), which as an addition to already in antiquity makeup using found.

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Ointment  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

supporting documents

  • New recipe form (NRF)
  • Rudolf Voigt and Alfred Fahr - Pharmaceutical Technology
  • Kurt H. Bauer, Karl-Heinz Frömming, Claus Führer, Bernhardt C. Lippold - Textbook of pharmaceutical technology

Individual evidence

  1. Gundolf Keil , Dagmar Schelletter, Anne Rappert: Aphorisms for the dosage form “ Salbe ” with special consideration of surgical prose of the German Middle Ages. In: Menso Folkerts , Stefan Kirschner , Andreas Kühne (eds.): Pratum floridum. Festschrift Brigitte Hoppe . Augsburg 2002 (= [Münchner Universitätsschriften:] Algorismus. Studies on the history of mathematics and natural sciences. Volume 38), pp. 369–403.
  2. Ralph Günter Brachvogel: Das 'Münchner Salbenbuch', a late medieval recipe collection from the end of the 15th century. Mathematical and scientific dissertation LMU Munich 1973.
  3. Gisela Weber: An old German version of the 'small surgery' Guys de Chauliac in the copy of Konrad Schrecks von Aschaffenburg '(1472). Medical dissertation in Würzburg 1982 (commissioned by Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg), p. 38 and 50.
  4. ^ Gerhard Eis : Medical prose of the late Middle Ages and the early modern times. Amsterdam 1982 (= Amsterdam Publications on Language and Literature , 48), p. 47.