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Topical drugs are applied directly to the skin surfcae and are absorbed through the epidermal layer into the dermis. They include lotions, pastes, ointments, creams, powders, shampoos, patches, and aerosol sprays.
Most topical medications are used for local effects, although some are used for systemic effects. Typically, topical medications should be applied two to three times a day to achieve their therapeutic effect.