I am a big fan of zinc oxide products for minor outdoor injuries, e.g. zinc oxide tape for blisters on feet, or products like Sudocrem for sunburn and so on. They certainly seem to help the healing process. But how exactly does it work? By this I mean, how does it trigger or enhance the body's natural healing process, and is there anything additional I can do maximise the effectiveness of zinc oxide products?


1 Answer 1


Zinc oxide has a very slight antimicrobial effect, whilst having little to no impact on human cells.

This is more that the material is toxic to microbes than activating a body defence. It's the Zn^{2+} ions that have the property of being toxic to microbes.

Small particles are more effective. Ideally I'd recommend creams to provide an even distribution of zinc oxide to the surface you wish to recover. The cream itself should help by providing moisture to the site of the wound, or blister.

As a side note, you will be consuming amounts of zinc oxide in your food, so it's definitely not harmful to humans.

Further reading: https://aem.asm.org/content/77/7/2325 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5940970/

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