zinc oxide topical (Desitin and Others) (cont.)

Pharmacy Author:
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

Topical zinc oxide products have been available in the US before 1938.




  • Topical Cream: 11.3%, 12%
  • Topical Cream Stick: 11.3%
  • Ointment: 10%, 13%, 13.4%, 20%, 40%
  • Paste: 16%, 20%, 40%
  • Powder: 9.1%
  • Solution spray: 10%

STORAGE: Zinc oxide products should be stored at room temperature between 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F). All products should be kept away from children and pets.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Topical zinc oxide products are used to treat and prevent minor skin irritations associated with diaper rash, burns, cuts, scrapers, allergic reactions, and insect bites. Topical zinc oxide is available without a prescription.

DOSING: Topical zinc oxide products may be applied to affected areas several times daily as necessary. Do not apply to large areas or on blistered or broken skin. Avoid contact with eyes and mucous membranes.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: No significant drug interactions have been reported with topical zinc oxide.

PREGNANCY: Zinc oxide when used topically on unbroken skin is not expected to be absorbed systemically to an appreciable level. Appropriate use of topical zinc oxide during pregnancy is generally considered to be safe.

NURSING MOTHERS: Appropriate use of topical zinc oxide during breastfeeding is generally considered to be safe.

SIDE EFFECTS: No significant side effects have been reported with the use of topical zinc oxide products. Minor skin sensitivity or irritation has been reported in some individuals.

REFERENCE: NIH. Zinc Fact Sheet for Health Professionals.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/24/2014

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