Foams for pharmaceutical and cosmetic application

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Foaming of cleaning agents in the household is an effect which is not connected with the quality of cleaning process. Foam development of some cosmetic formulations such as hair mousse or shaving foam has its functionality. Foam formation during application of a foam bath or shampoo is only a cosmetic attribute. In the pharmacy, foams represent new vehicles for drug delivery. The European Pharmacopoeia comprises a monograph called “Medicated Foams” and the interest for the development of these alternative vehicles is steadily growing. Depending on the way of pharmaceutical application we can define between rectal, vaginal and topical foams. Foams for dermal drug delivery have some advantages compared to the traditional vehicles for treatment of topical disorders such as ointment, creams, lotions, gels or solutions. Vaginal and rectal foam vehicles also feature some application benefits compared to the standard vehicles such as suppositories, creams and ointments. There are only a few foam formulations commercially available so far. Moreover, only few publications describing these vehicles have appeared in the recent years, predominantly patents. It is the intention of this article to review available literature, to summarize recent development and to highlight the potential of foam vehicles.

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