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  • Shabbat and Holidays
  • Cream and Ointment

Handcream on Shabbos

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Rabbi Daniel Kirsch

Sivan 1, 5782
Question
Thank you for your response. You wrote " In comment 3 he mentions: "If one would like all the cream to be absorbed into the body and none to remain on the skin, then there is no prohibition of Memare’aĥ (MA 316:24; MB ad loc. 49). Therefore, if one is sick enough that he may receive medical treatment on Shabbat, and he requires a cream, it may be spread on the skin and rubbed in until it is absorbed entirely by the body (Da’at Torah 328:26; R. Shlomo Zalman Auerbach cited in SSK ch. 33 n. 64" I have exome, which sometimes could be really uncomfortable, especially by a 3 Day Yom Tov. What you write " If one would like all the cream to be absorbed into the body and none to remain on the skin, then there is no prohibition of Memare’a" could apply, because the all I need is that the cream should be absorbed into the skin. Is there still room to be struck not to smear cream onto my hands.
Answer
Thank you for your question, Yes in your case that you suffer from eczema you may smear the cream on your hands. As far as Memare’a"--it's o.k. since you want it to be absorbed in your hands (some poskim disagree with that but you can rely on the poskim who permit it). There is another problem and that is the use of medicine on Shabbos. But if you started taking it before Shabbos then you may continue once Shabbos begins. If you didn't start taking it before Shabbos but the skin condition causes you to be very uncomfortable you may rely on the poskim who permit using these types of medicines (see Peninei Halacha Shabbat, 28:5) All the best
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