Zinc Oxide Cream (Diaper Rash Cream)

What is it?
First Aid
Safety Tips

What is zinc oxide cream?

Zinc oxide cream is a medication used to prevent and heal skin irritation. The cream keeps moisture and other irritants away from the skin.

Zinc oxide is the active ingredient in many over-the-counter diaper rash creams, including Desitin. It is also found in some types of baby powder and sunscreen. The label on the product can tell you whether it has zinc oxide in it.

Zinc oxide is not very harmful if a person eats a small amount, but it can be harmful to dogs and cats.

What happens if a person swallows zinc oxide cream?

They will be fine. Swallowing zinc oxide will likely not cause any symptoms.

What happens if a pet swallows zinc oxide cream?

A dog or cat who swallows a lot of zinc oxide may seem drowsy, not feel like eating, or throw up.

What should I do if a person has swallowed zinc oxide cream?

If someone swallowed zinc oxide cream, just give them some water to wash out the taste. They will be fine. If you are worried, call the poison center at 1-800-222-1222, chat online or text POISON to 85511.

What should I do if a pet has swallowed zinc oxide cream?

If your dog or cat swallowed zinc oxide cream, call your veterinarian or contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435.

How should I store and handle diaper rash cream and other medication?

  • Read the label every time you use any medication.
  • Store zinc oxide cream and other skin medications, such as anti-itch cream, away from oral medications like toothpaste.
  • Keep all creams and medications out of the reach of children and pets. Store diaper bags and purses up high and out of sight.
  • If you have any questions about your medication, ask your doctor or pharmacist, or contact the poison center—call 1-800-222-1222, chat online or text POISON to 85511.

Last Updated: Tuesday July 19th 2016