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How to pronounce topical (audio)

Dictionary definition of topical

Designed to be applied directly to a particular part of the body, usually the skin or mucous membranes.
"The pharmacist recommended a topical gel to relieve muscle pain."

Detailed meaning of topical

In medical and pharmaceutical contexts, a topical treatment or medication is designed to be applied externally to the skin or mucous membranes of a localized area, rather than being taken internally through ingestion or injection. These topical products are formulated to target specific skin conditions, such as rashes, infections, or irritations, providing direct and localized relief. They are favored for their ability to act directly at the site of concern, minimizing potential systemic side effects that might arise from systemic treatments. Overall, 'topical' denotes a method of application or focus that is specific, localized, and directly relevant to a particular bodily area.

Example sentences containing topical

1. The topical cream effectively soothes skin irritations and redness.
2. Please apply the topical ointment to the affected area twice a day.
3. The doctor prescribed a topical solution for the fungal infection on my foot.
4. The pharmacist recommended a topical gel to relieve muscle pain.
5. The nurse applied a topical anesthetic before administering the injection.
6. This topical lotion is perfect for dry and cracked skin.

History and etymology of topical

The adjective 'topical' has its roots in the Greek word 'topikos,' which is derived from 'topos,' meaning 'place.' 'Topikos' originally referred to something related to a specific place or location. In English, 'topical' evolved to describe something that is relevant or applicable to a specific place or area. In the context of medicine and skincare, 'topical' came to signify treatments, ointments, or substances designed to be applied directly to a particular part of the body, typically the skin or mucous membranes, addressing issues locally. The etymology of 'topical' thus underscores its connection to specific areas or places on the body where these treatments are intended to have a targeted effect.

Quiz: Find the meaning of topical

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Further usage examples of topical

1. The dermatologist advised using a topical sunscreen to protect against sunburn.
2. The herbalist suggested a topical herbal remedy for the rash.
3. I prefer using topical treatments for my acne rather than oral medications.
4. The athlete used a topical analgesic to reduce pain in his sore muscles.
5. The pharmacist explained how to properly apply the topical medication.
6. The doctor advised avoiding hot showers while using the topical treatment.
7. The veterinary recommended a topical flea treatment for the dog.
8. The pharmacist stocks a variety of topical products for skin care.
9. The scientist conducted a study comparing different topical antiseptics.
10. The podiatrist recommended a topical cream to treat the foot fungus.
11. The patient experienced immediate relief after applying the topical spray.
12. The herbalist prepared a topical poultice for the bruised area.
13. The pediatrician prescribed a topical lotion to treat the baby's eczema.
14. The physical therapist applied a topical cold pack to reduce swelling.



local, systemic, internal, widespread


SAT 7 (Scholastic Assessment Test), Appropriate and Suitable, Treatment and Medicine

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