What is Zinc Oxide Paste: Everything You Need to Know

zinc oxide paste

Zinc oxide paste is used to treat skin disorders and irritations. However, practitioners also advise the patients to use it as a diaper rash cream because it acts as a protection paste between the skin and the diaper.

It works by forming a skin barrier to protect the skin and heal the rashes. You can treat poison ivy, rashes, burns, cuts, and scrapes by using the paste regularly. 

Method of administration

If you are suffering from skin irritations, sunburns, cuts, or scrapes, apply the paste one or two times a day onto the skin. After you have applied a thick layer of the paste, cover the area with the help of medical lint. 

Difference between zinc oxide paste and zinc oxide cream/ointment 

Pharmaceutically speaking, the difference between an ointment and a zinc oxide paste is a gradual one. It includes more solid substances, which makes it thick as compared to an ointment. Generally speaking, it is a mixture of fats and powders. 

They have greater absorptive power and are dermatologically attributed to this absorption. Lassar was the first one to introduce pastes into derma therapy. Moreover, he praised it for its porosity and thickness. 

The fats in the zinc paste are impermeable to water or serum. The capillary action that the zinc paste constitutes takes up the serum and lets it absorb into the skin. For example, if you apply a sunscreen that has zinc oxide paste, the harmful rays of the sun will not penetrate the thick layer. 

Benefits of zinc oxide paste 

Zinc oxide paste generally contains 40% of the product in percentile. Therefore, it is faster than the creams containing 15% of zinc oxide. It is used as a protective coating for mild skin abrasion. The antiseptic and antibacterial properties of the following paste are used to treat diaper rash. However, there is limited research if it can heal allergies on the skin or not. Moreover, moderate concentrations (15%) are used to maintain the skin damaged due to rashes and abrasions.

What are the side effects of zinc oxide paste?

Here are the side effects that you should report back to your practitioner as soon as you notice them:

  • Swelling of the tongue, face, eyes, or lips
  • Hives or itching
  • Allergic reactions like rash or skin irritation

If you miss the dose in a day, apply the paste as soon as you remember. Don’t apply double layers of zinc paste as it will only waste the product. 


Zinc oxide paste is fairly thick and more absorbent as compared to zinc oxide cream. Use twice daily to get rid of skin disorders and diaper rash.


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