Zinc Oxide for Skin Problems

Zinc oxide is a medicine that is used to treat minor irritations of the skin, including diaper rash, cuts, poison ivy, and burns. Zinc oxide is a component of many ointments and creams that aim to prevent and manage skin irritations. It is a topical medication that is intended to be applied directly over the skin.

Common Side Effects

When using zinc oxide the most common side effects may include irritation, redness, and itching. These side effects usually go away very quickly (as the body gets used to the medicine). However, if you find that your symptoms are particularly long-lasting or troublesome, you need to inform your doctor of the situation, to be on the safe side.


Before using zinc oxide for any skin problems, it is important to speak with your doctor regarding whether it is suitable for you. Your doctor needs to know your medical history, including your allergies, skin infections and other skin-related issues. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding you must make sure that your doctor is aware of this. It is unconfirmed as to whether zinc oxide is excreted into breast milk (which could potentially cause damage to babies).


Zinc oxide is easy to use. Apply it liberally to a rash or cut. You should massage the zinc oxide in gently, and be careful as to avoid getting it into the eyes (it is only intended for external use).


Zinc oxide is included as an ingredient in a wide array of different products. Some skin products that consist of zinc oxide include calamine lotion, medicine for diaper rash, various skin lotions, zinc oxide ointment, different kinds of cosmetics, medicines for hemorrhoids, sunscreen, and caladryl lotion.


If you are worried that you have used too much zinc oxide, you need to seek emergency medical attention. Some symptoms of zinc oxide overdose include coughing, chills, the skin or the eyes becoming yellow (jaundice), fever, diarrhea, irritation of the throat and the mouth, nausea, throwing up and stomach pain.