Liniment (or embrocation), from the Latin linere, to anoint, is a medicated topical preparation for application to the skin. Sometimes called balms or heat rubs, liniments are of a similar or lesser viscosity than lotions and are rubbed in to create friction, unlike lotions, ointments or creams, but patches, sticks and sprays are also available.
Liniments are typically sold to relieve pain and stiffness, such as from sore muscular aches and strains, or arthritis. These are typically formulated from alcohol, acetone, or similar quickly evaporating solvents and contain counterirritant aromatic chemical compounds such as methyl salicilate, benzoin resin, menthol, or capsaicin. They produce a feeling of warmth within the muscle of the area they are applied to, typically acting as rubefacients via a counterirritant effect.
Liniments have been around since antiquity.
The methyl salicylate that is the active analgesic ingredient in some heat-rub products can be toxic if they are used in excess. Heating pads are also not recommended for use with heat rubs, as the added warmth may cause overabsorption of the active ingredients.
A lotion is a low-viscosity topical preparation intended for application to unbroken skin. By contrast, creams and gels have higher viscosity.Lotions are applied to external skin with bare hands, a brush, a clean cloth, cotton wool, or gauze. While lotion may be used as a medicine delivery system, many lotions, especially hand lotions and body lotions are meant instead to simply smooth, moisturize and soften the skin. These may be used in anti-aging lotions, which can also be classified as a cosmetic in many cases, and may contain fragrances. The Food and Drug Administration voiced concern about lotions not classified as drugs that advertise anti-aging or anti-wrinkle properties.
A topical medical preparation intended to be rubbed into the skin with friction, as for example to relieve symptoms of arthritis.
To apply liniment to.
A low- to medium-viscosity topical preparation intended for application to unbroken skin.
A washing, especially of the skin for the purpose of beautification.
To cover or treat with a lotion.
an embrocation for rubbing on the body to relieve pain, especially one made with oil.