Skip to main content

Diphenhydramine/zinc (On the skin)

Diphenhydramine (dye-fen-HYE-dra-meen), Zinc (zink)

Treats pain and itching associated with insect bites, minor cuts, burns, or rashes caused by poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac.

Brand Name(s):

Anti-Itch, Anti-Itch Cream, Banophen, Benadryl, Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Relief Spray, Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Stopping Cream, Benadryl Itch Relief Stick, Good Sense Itch Relief, Rite Aid Anti-Itch, Rite Aid First Aid Anti-Itch, Rite Aid First Aid Anti-Itch & Skin Protectant

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to diphenhydramine, or if you are also taking diphenhydramine by mouth.

How to Use This Medicine:

Stick, Lotion, Gel/Jelly, Spray, Cream, Ointment

  • Use this medicine as directed. Do not apply it more than 4 times each day.
  • Follow the instructions on the medicine label if you are using this medicine without a prescription.
  • Use this medicine only on your skin. Rinse it off right away if it gets on a cut or scrape. Do not get the medicine in your eyes, nose, or mouth. Do not swallow this medicine.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after you use this medicine.
  • Apply a thin layer of the medicine to the affected area. Rub it in gently. Press tip of stick on affected skin area until liquid medicine flows, then dab lightly.
  • Do not cover the treated area with a bandage unless directed by your doctor.
  • Missed dose: Apply a dose as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and apply a regular dose. Do not apply extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Do not use this medicine for chickenpox or measles unless your doctor tells you to.
  • Do not use this medicine to treat a skin problem your doctor has not examined.
  • Do not put cosmetics or skin care products on the treated skin.
  • The stick form of this medicine is flammable. Keep the medicine away from fire or open flame.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Worsened skin rash, itching, redness, or swelling

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Itching or pain that lasts longer than 7 days, or returns after it clears up

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088


Last Updated: 11/4/2014
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites.
Copyright © 1984- Truven Health Analytics. All rights reserved.

Thomson & A.D.A.M