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Topical administration means application to body surfaces such as the skin or mucous membranes. 
Most topical medications or delivery systems include:
  • Creams.
  • Foams.
  • Gels.
  • Lotions.
  • Ointments.

Many topical medications are epicutaneous, meaning that they are applied directly to the skin.

While all topical and transdermal compounds are applied to the skin, only the transdermal formulations are designed to penetrate through the skin layer and exert their effects on deeper or more distant tissues. Topical compounds only minimally penetrate the skin layer which is its designed intent.

 

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