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Since solutions are not miscible with fatty bases, the resulting ointments are emulsions in which the dispersed medium is usually an ointment base. The composition of most ointments-emulsions includes emulsifiers, by virtue of which the ointments are quite fine and stable. However, there are ointments that are stable only due to the high viscosity of the dispersion medium. In such ointments, the dispersed phase consists of large droplets. Combined (suspension-emulsion) ointments are the most complex multicomponent systems, including both medicinal substances soluble in the ointment base, insoluble powdery ingredients and aqueous solutions of medicinal substances, i.e. systems in which several substances with different physicochemical properties are simultaneously present.
Heterogeneous ointments are characterized by the presence of an interphase interface between medicinal substances and the base. Heterogeneous ointments are biphasic or multiphase systems. Depending on the nature of the distribution of medicinal substances, heterogeneous ointments are divided into suspension (trituration), emulsion and combined (suspension-emulsion) ointments. Suspension (trituration) ointments are systems containing solid powdered medicinal substances, insoluble in the ointment base and distributed in it as suspensions. The composition of ointments-suspensions include medicinal substances insoluble in water and fats.
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In the form of suspensions, medicinal substances are also introduced that dissolve in water, but their solutions are caustic and can cause skin irritation and necrotic phenomena (resorcinol, pyrogallol, zinc sulfate, mercury dichloride, Rochelle salt "). In a suspended state, substances are also introduced into the ointment that require a significant amount of water (borax, boric acid) for their dissolution. Ointment suspensions may contain one or more medicinal substances, each of which has its own interphase boundary. Thus, suspension ointments are two-, three- and multiphase systems. Emulsion ointments are characterized by the presence of a liquid dispersed phase, insoluble in the ointment base and distributed in it as an emulsion.