Gelling Agents

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Tragacanth
A natural product that is susceptible to microbial contamination. Requires a wetting agent to reduce lumps
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Alginates
Viscosity of these gels is more consistent than tragacanth. Also requires a wetting agent
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Pectin
Suitable for acid products. Prone to microbial contamination. Prone to water loss so requires a humectant like glycerol
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Gelatin
Rarely used as the sole gelling agent in dermatological preparations. It is usually combined with other ingredients such as pectin or carmellose sodium
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Cellulose derivative
Widely used and form neutral, stable gels. Good resistant to microbial contamination. Forms clear gels with good film strength when dried on skin, e.g. methyl cellulose and carmellose sodium
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PVA
Polyvinyl alcohol - used in the preparation of quick drying gels. Leaves a strong film. Can achieve different viscosities depending on concentration used
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Carbomer
A series of polymers primarily made from acrylic acid. They absorb and retain water swelling to many times their original volume. Produce clear gels provided too much air is not incorporated during gel production
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Clays
The resultant gel is opalescent, therefore less attractive to the patient. On drying, the gel leaves a powdery residue on the skin. Example: bentonite
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Viscosity of these gels is more consistent than tragacanth. Also requires a wetting agent

Back

Alginates

Card 3

Front

Suitable for acid products. Prone to microbial contamination. Prone to water loss so requires a humectant like glycerol

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

Rarely used as the sole gelling agent in dermatological preparations. It is usually combined with other ingredients such as pectin or carmellose sodium

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

Widely used and form neutral, stable gels. Good resistant to microbial contamination. Forms clear gels with good film strength when dried on skin, e.g. methyl cellulose and carmellose sodium

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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