Barrier cream
A barrier cream is a topical formulation used in industrial and medical environments to place a physical barrier between the skin and contaminants which may irritate the skin and cause contact dermatitis
Contact dermatitis
Contact dermatitis is a term for a skin reaction resulting from exposure to allergens or irritants . Phototoxic dermatitis occurs when the allergen or irritant is activated by sunlight....

 or occupational dermatitis.

Medical application

Barrier preparations which can be a cream, ointment or aerosol spray often contain substances which repel water such as silicone
Silicones are inert, synthetic compounds with a variety of forms and uses. Typically heat-resistant and rubber-like, they are used in sealants, adhesives, lubricants, medical applications , cookware, and insulation....

, zinc oxide
Zinc oxide
Zinc oxide is an inorganic compound with the formula ZnO. It is a white powder that is insoluble in water. The powder is widely used as an additive into numerous materials and products including plastics, ceramics, glass, cement, rubber , lubricants, paints, ointments, adhesives, sealants,...

 or dimethicone. Typical applications are in occluded skin-to-skin contacts such as body folds or flexural areas. A common use for barrier creams and ointments is nappy rash or diaper rash
Diaper rash
Irritant diaper dermatitis is a generic term applied to skin rashes in the diaper area that are caused by various skin disorders and/or irritants.Generic rash or irritant diaper dermatitis is characterized by joined patches of erythema and...


Industrial applications

Barrier creams have been used in industry to protect workers skin from the contaminants encountered in manufacturing trades. In this application a barrier cream may also be water repellent but may also need to repel certain solvents present in mineral oils, gasoline, paints, lubricants and ink. The use of china clay or kaolinite
Kaolinite is a clay mineral, part of the group of industrial minerals, with the chemical composition Al2Si2O54. It is a layered silicate mineral, with one tetrahedral sheet linked through oxygen atoms to one octahedral sheet of alumina octahedra...

is added to physically block the skin's pores. Industrial barrier creams have different formulations according to the type or work undertaken.
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