Aqueous calamine cream: do not use before X-ray examination

Don't apply aqueous calamine cream onto the skin before an X-ray examination because it may affect the outcome of the radiograph.

Article date: October 2011

Aqueous calamine cream is used for the relief of symptoms of mild sunburn and other minor skin conditions. It contains zinc oxide 3.0% w/w. If used on the skin before an X-ray examination, the zinc oxide in this product may mimic intramammary calcifications, which can be an important indicator of early breast cancer.

After a review of the available safety information, information has been added to the product label and leaflet advising not to apply aqueous calamine cream onto the skin before an X-ray examination because it may affect the outcome of the radiograph.

Further information

BNF section 13.3 Topical local anaesthetics and antipruritics

Article citation: Drug Safety Update Oct 2011, vol 5 issue 3: S2.

Help us improve GOV.UK

Don’t include personal or financial information like your National Insurance number or credit card details.