top of page

Topical medication administration

Preparation and delivery of topically prescribed medications and evaluation of patient response.


– Administer prescribed medication to the patient topically for therapeutic purposes. – Educate patient and family on therapeutic regimen.


– Trough. – Towel.


– Prescribed medication. – Medical treatment sheet with the prescribed medication. – Disposable gloves. – Non-sterile gauze. – Neutral soap. – Applicator or depressor. – Bandages. – Bag for residues. – Anti-allergic plaster. – Dressings. – Sponges. – Nursing records.


– Perform hand washing.

– Follow general rules in medication administration. – Determine medication knowledge and understanding of the patient’s method of administration. – Put on gloves. – Determine the condition of the patient’s skin in the area where the medication will be applied. – Remove medication residue and clean the skin with soapy water, rinse and dry without rubbing.

Apply the topical drug according to the type of skin preparation:

1. powder: check that the skin surface is dry. Separate the skin folds and sprinkle the area until it is covered by a thin, thin layer. Cover with dressing if indicated. 2. Lotion suspension: Shake the container before use to distribute the particles. Put a small amount of lotion on a gauze pad and apply to the skin, rubbing evenly in the direction of the hair. 3. Creams, ointments, pastes and oily lotions: Heat and soften the preparation with gloved hands to facilitate its application. Spread it on the skin in the direction of hair growth. Explain to the patient that the skin may appear greasy after application. 4. Aerosol: Shake the container well to mix the contents. Keep the container at the recommended distance from the area to be treated (generally 15 to 30 cm). If the spray is to be administered on the upper chest or neck, protect the patient’s face. Spray the medication on the area to be treated. 5. Transdermal patches: Select a clean, dry and hairless area. Remove the patch from the package that protects it, holding it without touching its adhesive edges and apply by pressing hard with the palm of the hand for about 10 seconds. Remove the patch when indicated, folding inward the side containing the medication. – Cover the area with bandage and dressing if necessary. – Leave the patient in a comfortable position. – Collect the material. – Remove gloves. – Wash hands. – Record: medication administered, dose, route, date and time, incidents and patient response.


– If the skin of the application area is intact, disposable gloves should be used, but if there is a break in the integrity of the skin, the procedure should be performed using sterile technique.

– Transdermal patches should always be administered at the same time and alternating application areas to avoid skin irritation.

6 views0 comments


bottom of page