Menthol and zinc oxide (Topical application)
Generic name: menthol/zinc oxide (MEN-thol, zink OX-ide)
Drug class: Miscellaneous topical agents
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Oct 28, 2020.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
- Gold Bond Medicated Body Powder
- Gold Star Medicated
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Protectant, Dermatological
Uses for menthol and zinc oxide
Menthol and zinc oxide topical ointment is used to prevent and heal skin irritation caused by urine, diarrhea, sweat, fistula damage, feeding tube site leakage, wound drainage, minor burns, cuts, scrapes, or itching.
Menthol and zinc oxide is available as an over-the-counter (OTC) product.
Before using menthol and zinc oxide
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For menthol and zinc oxide, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to menthol and zinc oxide or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of menthol and zinc oxide topical ointment in children.
No information is available on the relationship of age to the effects of menthol and zinc oxide topical ointment in geriatric patients.
Interactions with medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
Interactions with food/tobacco/alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Proper use of menthol and zinc oxide
Use menthol and zinc oxide exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not use more of it, do not use it more often, or do not use it for a longer time than your doctor ordered.
Menthol and zinc oxide is for use on the skin only. Do not get it in the eyes. Do not use on deep or puncture wounds. You may use it on the skin area around the wound.
- Wash your hands with soap and water before and after using menthol and zinc oxide.
- Clean the affected area with mild soap and water. Pat dry or allow it to dry.
- Apply a thin layer of the ointment with each diaper change, at bedtime, or when prolonged exposure to wet diapers may occur.
The dose of menthol and zinc oxide will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of menthol and zinc oxide. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For topical dosage form (ointment):
- For prevention of skin irritation:
- Adults—Apply to the affected area of the skin 2 to 4 times per day.
- Children—Apply to the affected area of the skin 2 to 4 times per day.
- For prevention of skin irritation:
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
Precautions while using menthol and zinc oxide
If your or your child's symptoms do not improve within 7 days, or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
If you or your child accidentally swallow the medicine, call the doctor or a poison control center right away.
Menthol and zinc oxide side effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
Incidence not known
- Hives, itching, or skin rash
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.