Zinc Oxide

What is Zinc Oxide

Zinc oxide is a topical mild astringent with weak antiseptic properties. It is used to treat dermatologic conditions such as abrasions, burns, chafing, diaper rash (diaper dermatitis), insect bites, and minor skin irritations.

In the US, zinc oxide is available in a topical cream, ointment, or paste.

Zinc oxide topical paste is commonly used for weeping and oozing associated with poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans ), poison oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum,Toxicodendron quercifolium), and poison sumac (Toxicodendron vernix ). Combined with titanium dioxide, zinc oxide is also used as a sunscreen agent (see separate monograph).

In Europe, a zinc oxide tape (MeZinc) is available for treating diabetic foot ulcers. Zinc oxide has been available since before 1938.

Indications & Dosage

  • burns
  • contact dermatitis
  • diabetic foot ulcer
  • diaper dermatitis
  • insect bites or stings
  • Rhus dermatitis
  • skin abrasion

For the prevention or treatment of minor skin irritations such as burns, contact dermatitis, Rhus dermatitis due to poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac, diaper rash (diaper dermatitis), insect bites or stings, and skin abrasion or cuts

Side Effects

  • no adverse reactions

There have been no adverse reactions reported with the use of topical zinc oxide products.

Monitoring Parameters

  • laboratory monitoring not necessary


  • breast-feeding
  • latex hypersensitivity
  • pregnancy


There are no drug interactions associated with Zinc Oxide products.


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