The Daily Halacha Moment - Using Creams and Ointments On Shabbat
״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)
“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)
May one use creams or ointments on Shabbat?
One may use an antiseptic ointment on Shabbat to prevent infection.
It is permitted to use creams for medicinal purposes that are absorbed into the skin if one is extremely pained, such as back pain or other soreness. Similarly, one may apply gel to aching gums and that cause a lot of pain. This can also be done for a child if the cream gets fully absorbed.
Similarly, One may not use oils on his skin to heal himself. However, one may place oil on his body for non-medicinal purposes. A baby, however, may have oil put on his skin even for medicinal purposes.
Adapted From R' Yonatan Nacsons "Laws Of Shabbat" vol. 2, p. 301-302
. Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 3, p. 403. This is permitted even if the skin will be dyed by the lotion.
. This lenient ruling was based on the theory advanced by the Magen Avraham that Memare’ach forbids smoothening a substance on a surface (such as applying wax to the cover of a barrel to seal it), but not when it is absorbed into the surface.
. Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 3, p. 386; Yalkut Yosef, Shabbat, vol. 4, p. 77. See also Ohr LeTzion, vol. 2, 36:6 who states that when applying cream for a diaper rash, one may apply an ointment with a shinuy onto the affected area, a bit on one spot and a bit on another. The baby may then be dressed with a diaper, even though this causes the ointment to become more or less evenly distributed. This is also the opinion of the Shulchan Shlomo, Refuah, vol. 2, p. 105.
. Ohr LeTzion, vol. 2, 35:7; Menuchat Ahavah, vol. 1, 21:81.
. See Shulchan Aruch 327:1; Ibid. 328:22; Halichot Olam, vol. 4, p. 200.
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