A few days back I popped in a question here on this forum about the use of 'salve' as a remedy in figurative language. Later on, another question pinched my mind that is, do native use this word 'salve' for "a substance that you put on a wound or sore skin to help it heal or to protect it" or they simply prefer to use the word 'ointment'?
That is the meaning of the word. But it is quite rare, because most people are not in the business of dressing wounds. So a nurse might use the word, but it is not common for other people.
The usual antiseptic salves that you might have in your first aid kit would probably be called "cream"
If you have grazed your knee, put some of this cream on it and an Elastoplast.
Salve is an oily substance that is put on sore skin or a wound to help it heal. An ointment is a smooth thick substance that is put on sore skin or a wound to help it heal. These are the definitions of the Collins Dictionary.
I think salve is more similar to balm. My first association is lip salve, which is the same as lip balm.
Ointment usually contains medicine, salve - not necessarily.