Is there an issur me memareiach (smoothing) when the cream is absorbed by the hand and one rubs it in completely
One should be stringent not to use cream even in the above fashion. However in a case of great need, such as a baby with bad diaper rash, someone with a burn etc. one could be lenient to completely absorb the cream in to the body, as there is room to argue that this is not considered the melacha of smoothing.
Daas Torah O:C 328:26, based on the Magen Avraham brought in Mishna Brura 316:49. See Shemiras Shabbos Khilchisa 33 note 58 in the name of Rav S.Z. Aurbach who permitted this only in a case of illness or other extreme discomfort.