Kids Home > Balmex Side Effects

Serious side effects are not likely to occur with Balmex. Problems that have been seen with skin products containing zinc oxide (the active ingredient in Balmex) include burning, itching, and dark discoloration of the skin. Significant problems with Balmex are more likely to occur if the product is taken by mouth, rather than applied to the skin.

An Introduction to Balmex Side Effects

Balmex® products are unlikely to cause significant side effects. Even if problems do occur, they are usually easily treated by you or your child's healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Balmex. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of Balmex side effects with you.)

Possible Side Effects With Balmex

Recognized side effects of zinc oxide skin products (such as Balmex Diaper Rash Cream and Balmex Prevention Powder) include:
  • Burning
  • Stinging
  • Itching
  • Tingling
  • Dark discoloration of the skin.
All Balmex products also contain many inactive ingredients that could also potentially cause problems. Because some of these inactive ingredients are herbal remedies, there is little information available to predict what side effects might occur.

Serious Side Effects

It is possible that some individuals might develop an allergic reaction to Balmex products. Signs of such reactions might include:
  • An unexplained rash
  • Hives
  • Severe itching
  • Swelling of the mouth or throat
  • Wheezing or difficulty breathing.
Overall, Balmex is unlikely to cause serious side effects. Serious problems might be more likely to occur if Balmex is accidentally taken by mouth (as might occur with a young child or a pet). Taking any kind of ointment (such as Balmex Multi-Purpose Healing Ointment) by mouth may cause pneumonia if the ointment is inhaled into the lungs.
Additionally, consuming a large amount of Balmex Prevention Powder or Diaper Rash Cream (which contain zinc oxide) could cause zinc toxicity. Signs of zinc toxicity include:
  • A copper deficiency
  • Watery diarrhea
  • Coughing
  • Kidney problems
  • Lethargy
  • Fatigue
  • Chills and a fever
  • Yellow skin or eyes (jaundice)
  • Cough
  • Mouth and throat irritation.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
List of references (click here):
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