Lotions are liquid preparations intended for application to the skin, or fur use as washes for aural, nasal, ophthalmic, oral, or urethral irrigation. They usually contain definite chemical substances in suspension or solution in aqueous vehicles. The addition of alcohol to aqueous lotions increases the rapidity of evaporation from the surface to which they are applied, their cooling effect being consequently accentuated. The use of glycerin in lotions retards the crying process and tends to produce a temporary protective film, which, if covered with a suitable dressing, remains moist for a considerable period. Mucilage of quince seed or mucilage of tragacanth is suitable for use in lotions when a suspending agent is required. Lotions are used without friction. For the treatment of skin areas, they are applied freely upon lint or other soft absorbent fabric, with an overlay of waterproof material, secured with bandage. They are also applied by means of a camel-hair brush of ample size ("mop" brush), or may be dabbed upon the skin by means of absorbent cotton wool. When the latter methods are employed, the area to which the lotion has been applied is usually allowed to dry naturally. Lotions for aural irrigation are used at a temperature not exceeding 55°, and are generally intended to be gently syringed into the ear, care being taken to avoid the injection of air. Lotions intended to be employed as mouth washes are generally used warm, and occasionally as hot fomentations, about a wineglassful being retained for a few minutes inside the mouth over the seat of dental abscesses, application being repeated at frequent intervals. Lotions intended for nasal irrigation are usually applied by means of a glass douche, or syringe, of suitable construction. For urethral irrigation, lotions are injected by means of a syringe, adapted to the purpose. Preparations used for irrigating the urethra and vagina which are not included as lotions, are described as injections. For those employed for application to the eye, and for injection into the anus and bowel, see "Eye Lotions," "Enemas" and "Injections."
The British Pharmaceutical Codex, 1911, was published by direction of the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.