What does zinc oxide cream do?

Answered by James Kissner

Zinc oxide cream, also known as zinc oxide topical cream, is a commonly used product to treat and prevent diaper rash in babies. It is a thick, white cream that forms a protective barrier on the skin, helping to soothe and heal irritated skin caused by diaper use.

One of the main purposes of zinc oxide cream is to provide a physical barrier between the skin and the wetness of a diaper. When a baby wears a diaper, the skin is constantly in contact with moisture from urine and feces, which can lead to irritation and redness. By applying zinc oxide cream, it creates a protective layer on the skin, preventing further irritation and allowing the skin to heal.

The active ingredient in zinc oxide cream is, as the name suggests, zinc oxide. This compound has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, which can help reduce redness, swelling, and the risk of infection in diaper rash. It also acts as a mild astringent, helping to dry out the rash and promote healing.

In addition to treating diaper rash, zinc oxide cream can also be used to prevent it. Applying a thin layer of the cream to clean and dry skin before putting on a diaper can help create a barrier that protects the skin from moisture and friction. This can be particularly helpful during times when a baby’s skin is more prone to irritation, such as during teething or when starting solid foods.

It’s worth noting that zinc oxide cream is generally safe and well-tolerated, but it’s always a good idea to perform a patch test before using it on a larger area of the skin, especially if your baby has sensitive skin or a history of allergies. Simply apply a small amount of the cream to a small area and wait to see if any adverse reactions occur.

When using zinc oxide cream for diaper rash, it’s important to follow proper diaper-changing practices. Regularly changing wet or soiled diapers, cleaning the area gently with warm water and a mild cleanser, and thoroughly drying the skin before applying the cream can all contribute to preventing and treating diaper rash effectively.

Zinc oxide cream is a versatile product that is primarily used to treat and prevent diaper rash in babies. Its main function is to create a protective barrier on the skin, shielding it from moisture and irritation caused by diaper use. The active ingredient, zinc oxide, provides anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that help soothe and heal irritated skin. By following proper diaper-changing practices and using zinc oxide cream consistently, you can help keep your baby’s skin healthy and free from diaper rash.