Lotions, Creams Oint. The spreadability factor is a major difference between ointment and cream. Ointments are greasier and they have thicker consistencies. So you may not be able to spread ointments over large areas of the skin. Creams on the other hand have lighter consistencies so these work better if you want to cover large areas. Lotions are even lighter.
Oil and water. Ointments, creams and lotions can contain the same active ingredient but differ in their proportion of oil to water. An ointment contains mostly oil. A cream is 50% oil and 50% water. A lotion contains more water than oil. For patients with eczema who needs something more hydrating, an ointment is best as it's greasy. On the other hand, someone prone to acne should use products such as lotions.