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Zinc Oxide Dosage

There are several different forms of zinc oxide. Dosages will vary based on which particular product you are using, and there is typically no "standard" dosage that is right for everyone. For example, zinc oxide is found in many diaper rash creams, and sunscreens and is meant to be applied liberally as needed. However, because zinc oxide can cause zinc toxicity when too much is taken by mouth, there are guidelines for the maximum daily amounts that can be consumed.

Zinc Oxide Dosage: An Introduction

The dose of zinc oxide that is recommended for you may vary, depending on a number of factors, including:
  • The particular zinc oxide product
  • Your age
  • Other medications you are taking
  • Other medical conditions you may have.
As is always the case, do not adjust your dosage unless your healthcare provider specifically instructs you to do so.

Dosing for Skin Products

There is no standard zinc oxide "dosage" for skin products, per se. These products (such as diaper rash ointments, creams, or certain sunscreens) are meant to be applied liberally as needed. Simply follow the instructions for your particular zinc oxide product.

Dosing for Oral Zinc Oxide Products

There are several different forms of zinc (such as zinc gluconate, zinc sulfate, or zinc oxide). Some dietary supplements use zinc oxide for a source of zinc. In such products, the dose is given in terms of zinc (not zinc oxide), because the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) are provided in terms of zinc (not zinc oxide). For general supplementation purposes, the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for zinc are as follows:

0 to 6 months*
2 mg daily
7 months to 3 years
3 mg daily
4 to 8 years
5 mg daily
9 to 13 years
8 mg daily
14 years and older (males)
11 mg daily
14 to 18 years old (females)
9 mg daily
19 years and older (females)
8 mg daily
Pregnant women (14 to 18 years old)
12 mg daily
Pregnant women (19 years and older)
11 mg daily
Breastfeeding women (14 to 18 years old)
13 mg daily
Breastfeeding women (19 years and older)
12 mg daily

*RDAs are not established for zinc for infants under seven months old; instead, an "Adequate Intake" level is provided.


For nutrients that can cause toxicity, a "Tolerable Upper Intake Level" (UL) is given. This is the maximum that can be taken (from all sources, including the diet) without causing significant toxicity. Refer to the following table for UL values for zinc:
0 to 6 months old
4 mg daily
7 to 12 months old
5 mg daily
1 to 3 years old
7 mg daily
4 to 8 years old
12 mg daily
9 to 13 years old
23 mg daily
14 to 18 years old
34 mg daily
19 years and older
40 mg daily


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