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Therapeutic lotion is a skin treatment created to treat a skin condition or chronic problem. Skin conditions treated with therapeutic lotion are many, but include dry skin, dandruff, and acne. These lotions come in many types, and a number of skin-care brands make lotions labeled as therapeutic. These products can be medical prescription products, over-the-counter medical treatment products, or non-medical skin care products. Lotion for dry skin is the most common type of therapeutic lotion.
Users generally rub therapeutic lotion onto the affected area. Usually, therapeutic lotions are meant to be used long-term to allow the skin time to heal. Some prescription therapeutic lotion has specific time frames for use.
Therapeutic lotions found in the cosmetics section are generally made to treat dry skin or acne. Dry skin therapy lotions do not generally have active ingredients, but contain a formula of moisturizing components designed to heal dry skin. Acne therapeutic lotion generally contains an acne-fighting ingredient like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid in addition to the moisturizing elements. Since they contain extra ingredients to fight acne, these lotions can be more drying to skin than other types of moisturizers, and can irritate sensitive skin.
Lotions generally differ from creams and ointment in texture and in the way the products are packaged. Therapeutic lotions are somewhat runny and often come in bottles that dispense by pouring or pumping the product. Creams are generally more firm than lotions, and they are usually packaged in jars with a screw-top and dispensed by scooping the cream from the jar by hand or with an applicator. Some creams are sold in squeeze bottles similar to tubes of toothpaste, but they generally contain less water and are not as liquid as therapeutic lotion. Therapeutic salves are generally sold in squeeze tubes and are jelly-like and clear in color.
Though it is not always the case, therapeutic lotion is usually white or off-white in color. In addition to water and active therapeutic ingredients, this type of lotion usually contains petroleum-based moisturizers, natural moisturizers and fragrance. Petroleum-based moisturizers common in dry skin therapeutic lotions include petrolatum, also known as petroleum jelly, and mineral oil. A wide variety of plant-based moisturizers are used in dry skin therapy lotions, but common plants used in lotions include coconut, avocado, and sesame seed. Some therapeutic lotions also contain vitamins and minerals or various plant extracts like lime, seaweed, or alfalfa meant to further benefit and heal the skin.