Zinc Oxide: Uses, Side Effects & Dosage Guide

Zinc oxide is found as a white powder, and it is an inorganic substance. Zinc oxide is widely used as an additive in various products from cosmetics to ointments and other numerous products. Zinc oxide is found naturally but can also be synthesized artificially. Zinc oxide is widely used in different creams, lotions, and ointments to protect the skin from various damaging factors like sunburns or other skin problems caused by ultraviolet light. Zinc oxide is legally approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) of the United States Of America as a broad spectrum Ultraviolet A and Ultraviolet B absorber. Nowadays, Zinc oxide is widely used as a sunscreen because it effectively blocks both Ultraviolet A and Ultraviolet B rays of UV light. Many Zinc oxide containing sunscreen is being used widely. Zinc Oxide When used on the skin, the zinc is slightly absorbed into the skin from the medicament.

The oxides of zinc have antibacterial properties, and because of this property, zinc oxide is being used in many products for storing purposes. Smaller the particles of zinc oxide more significant will be the antibacterial action; this is because of increased surface area. Nowadays, Zinc oxide is being significantly used for the treatment of various kinds of skin conditions like eczema, dermatitis, diaper rash, acne, and itching and many others. 

Zinc oxide with iron oxide is used as a calamine lotion for many skin problems. Zinc oxide eugenol is a well-known medicament used in dentistry for therapeutic purposes and obtunded effects to relieve the pain. Zinc oxide is used in :

  • Baby powder
  • Barrier creams
  • Calamine creams
  • Anti-dandruff shampoos
  • Antiseptic ointments

Many athletes are using zinc oxide tape as a bandage to prevent soft tissue injuries during vigorous exercises.

It is noted that the action of ciprofloxacin which is a well-known antibiotic, is significantly increased when used with zinc oxide nanoparticles. Therefore zinc oxide is used topically with the other antibiotic to enhance their antibacterial action.

Indications

Zinc oxide is indicated in the treatment of the following conditions:

  • Diaper rash
  • Skin irritations
  • Burns
  • Cuts
  • Scrapes

Zinc oxide is only used in a topical form. Zinc oxide works by forming a protective layer on the skin which protects the skin from irritants and moisture.

Contraindications

Use of topical zinc oxide is contraindicated in the following conditions:

● A person allergic to zinc oxide or any of its components

● A person with a previous history of an allergic reaction to zinc

Side Effects

Side effects of zinc oxide are:

  • Dizziness
  • Trouble breathing
  • Allergic reactions
  • Rashes
  • Itching
  • Burning sensation
  • Swelling of mouth, face, tongue and throat

Warnings

Zinc oxide should be used with precautions in patients having a history of an allergic reaction to zinc oxide or any skin allergies, whether it’s related to medications or not.

High Risk Groups

People who are at the high-risk group for the use of zinc oxide are patients having previous allergic reactions to zinc and children of less than two years.

Menthol

Overview

Menthol is found naturally in peppermint, oils of corn mint, and also obtained from other mints. Menthol can be synthesized synthetically from various sources. Menthol is an organic, crystalline, and waxy substance. Menthol may be white or clear in colour, and it is present in solid form at room temperature and melts on slightly above temperatures than room temperature.

The configuration of menthol found naturally is 1R,2S,5R, and it is widely used in the medical industry for various purposes. Menthol has topical analgesic property; therefore, it is widely used as a local anaesthetic agent either itself or with the combination of other medications. Due to the anti-irritant ability of menthol, it is widely used with other ingredients like zinc oxide in various skin conditions like burns and other skin problems. Because of its anti-irritant property, it is also used to relieve the minor throat irritation as well. Menthol is a weak κ-opioid receptor agonist.

Menthol is one of the most commonly prescribed medicines in the United States. It is estimated that menthol with more than two million prescriptions in 2017 is one of the highly prescribed medicaments in the United States Of America.

Indications

Menthol is only used only as a topical medication. Menthol is used as a medication for the treatment of the following diseases:

  • The pain of joints( such as arthritis & backaches )
  • The pain of muscle ( such as spasms, sprains)
  • Minor aches
  • Sprains and strains

Menthol causes the skin to feel relaxed and then warm and by producing such feelings distracts the person from pain in the deeper part of muscle And joints.

Contraindications

Use of menthol is contraindicated in the following conditions:

● allergic reaction

● irritation at the site of application

● Children before two years

● Burns

Side Effects

Side effects of menthol include:

  • Severe Allergic reactions
  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Tightness in chest
  • Swelling of mouth
  • Swelling of lips
  • Swelling of face
  • Swelling of tongue
  • Redness at the application site
  • Severe irritation at the application site
  • Severe burning
  • Pain at the application site
  • Swelling at the application site
  • Stinging
  • Blistering at the application site

Warnings

Menthol should be prescribed with care to patients with a known case of any skin allergy or having a previous history of allergic reactions.

 High Risk Groups

● Known case of skin allergies

● Children less than two years

● Pregnant ladies

● Patients with a history of hypersensitivity reactions

● Patients with Known cases of dermatitis