This review provides the first comprehensive overview of the use of both nanoparticles and nanofibers for topical drug delivery. Researchers have explored the use of nanotechnology, specifically nanoparticles and nanofibers, as drug delivery systems for topical and transdermal applications. This approach employs increased drug concentration in the carrier, in order to increase drug flux into and through the skin. Both nanoparticles and nanofibers can be used to deliver hydrophobic and hydrophilic drugs and are capable of controlled release for a prolonged period of time. The examples presented provide significant evidence that this area of research has — and will continue to have — a profound impact on both clinical outcomes and the development of new products.