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What is zinc oxide?
Topical zinc oxide is a non-prescription (OTC) over-the-counter) mild astringent with weak antiseptic properties. It is a skin protectant that is used to treat and prevent various skin conditions including minor abrasions, burns, chafing, diaper rash, insect bites, and minor skin irritation.
What brand names are available for zinc oxide?
- Ammens Original Medicated,
- Ammens Shower Fresh,
- Butt Paste,
- Calmol 4,
- Carlesta Skin Protectant,
- Critic-Aid Skin Care,
- Desitin Creamy,
- Diaper Rash Ointment,
- Diaper Relief,
- Dr. Smiths Diaper Ointment,
- Johnsons No More Diaper Rash,
- Novana Protect,
- PNS Unna Boot,
- Triple Paste,
- Vaginex Powder,
- Yeast-X Powder, and
Is zinc oxide available as a generic drug?
Do I need a prescription for zinc oxide?
Why is zinc oxide prescribed to patients?
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.
What are the side effects of zinc oxide?
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.
What is the dosage for zinc oxide?
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.
Which drugs or supplements interact with zinc oxide?
No significant drug interactions have been reported with topical zinc oxide.
Is zinc oxide safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
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.
Appropriate use of topical zinc oxide during breastfeeding is generally considered to be safe.
What else should I know about zinc oxide?
What preparations of zinc oxide are available?
- 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%
How should I keep zinc oxide stored?
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.
How does zinc oxide work?
Zinc oxide works by forming a barrier on top of the skin that protects the area from moisture and irritants.
Topical zinc oxide is available in various formulations including cream, ointment, paste, powder and solution spray. Zinc oxide paste is commonly used to treat weeping or oozing associated with poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac. Zinc oxide is also used with titanium dioxide in sunscreen products.
When was zinc oxide approved by the FDA?
Topical zinc oxide products have been available in the US before 1938.
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Related Disease Conditions
How to Stop Anal Itching
Anal itching is the irritation of the skin at the exit of the rectum, known as the anus, accompanied by the desire to scratch. Causes include everything from irritating foods we eat, to certain diseases, and infections. Treatment options include over-the-counter medications, using moist pads, and gentle cleaning and drying of the anus.
Cuts, Scrapes, and Puncture Wounds
Cuts, scrapes, and puncture wounds are common, and most people will experience one of these in their lifetime. Evaluating the injury, and thoroughly cleaning the injury is important. Some injuries should be evaluated by a doctor, and a tetanus shot may be necessary. Treatment will depend upon the severity of the injury.
Yeast Infection vs. Diaper Rash in Infants, Toddlers, and Children
Diaper rash in infants, babies, toddlers, and children is caused by Candida, the most common type of fungus. Signs and symptoms of diaper rash is red, elevated skin that may be visible under and in the creases of the skin, groin, or anus. Yeast diaper rash is not painful. Treatments for diaper rash include antibiotic creams, lotions, natural home remedies, over-the-counter (OTC) medicine, and oral antibiotics. Yeast infections in infants, babies, toddlers, and children can cause diaper rash, thrush. Signs and symptoms of thrush include thick, white lacy patches on top of a red base can form on the tongue, palate, or elsewhere inside the palate. Treatment for yeast infections caused by Candida fungi are similar to the treatments for diaper rash. If Candida gets into the blood stream of an individual they may get sick with or without a fever. If the Candida infection spreads throughout the body up to 45% of people may die. Even with common mouth thrush can cause critical illness and may be more resistant to normal treatment.
Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac
Poison ivy, oak, and sumac contain a substance called urushiol, which causes a rash on people who come in contact with them. Symptoms and signs include a red, swollen, itchy, blistering, bumpy rash. Treatment involves rinsing the exposed area with water, taking antihistamines and over-the-counter pain medications, using topical treatments such as calamine lotion, and applying cool compresses.
Burns (First Aid)
Burn types are based on their severity: first-degree burns, second-degree burns, and third-degree burns. First-degree burns are similar to a painful sunburn. The damage is more severe with second-degree burns, leading to blistering and more intense pain. The skin turns white and loses sensation with third-degree burns. Burn treatment depends upon the burn location, total burn area, and intensity of the burn.
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You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.