Pastes: what do they contain? How do they work?

Dermatology : International Journal for Clinical and Investigative Dermatology
R D JuchC Surber


Pastes are semisolid stiff preparations containing a high proportion of finely powdered material. Powders such as zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, starch, kaolin or talc are incorporated in high concentrations into a preferably lipophilic, greasy vehicle. A clinically distinctive feature which is generally attributed to pastes is the quality to absorb exudates by nature of the powder or other absorptive components. Reviewing the various pharmacopoeias serious doubts arise from the various formulas of pastes and their absorptive features. The zinc oxide pastes of the USP XXII, the DAB 10 and BP 88 (US, German and British pharmacopoeias). are composed of petrolatum, zinc oxide and starch. Petrolatum, a highly lipophilic, water-immiscible vehicle surrounds the powder particles preventing any absorption of water or exudates. The goal of our investigation was to test a simple experimental setting to characterize the clinically important absorptive feature of powders and pastes. The absorptive features of the powders were determined by the method of Enslin. The absorptive features of the paste preparations were calculated from the weight difference between the paste preparation before and after incubation with water using a simple stand...Continue Reading


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Feb 23, 2005·Dermatology : International Journal for Clinical and Investigative Dermatology·C Surber, Eric W Smith
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