Zinc oxide as a mixture with about 0.5% iron(III) oxide (Fe2O3) is called calamine and is used in calamine lotion. Two minerals, zincite and hemimorphite, have been historically called calamine. When mixed with eugenol, a ligand, zinc oxide eugenol is formed, which has applications as a restorative and prosthodontic in dentistry.
Reflecting the basic properties of ZnO, fine particles of the oxide have deodorizing and antibacterial properties and for that reason are added into materials including cotton fabric, rubber, oral care products, and food packaging.Enhanced antibacterial action of fine particles compared to bulk material is not exclusive to ZnO and is observed for other materials, such as silver. This property results from the increased surface area of the fine particles.
Zinc oxide is widely used to treat a variety of other skin conditions, in products such as baby powder and barrier creams to treat diaper rashes, calamine cream, anti-dandruff shampoos, and antiseptic ointments. It is also a component in tape (called “zinc oxide tape”) used by athletes as a bandage to prevent soft tissue damage during workouts.
Zinc oxide can be used in ointments, creams, and lotions to protect against sunburn and other damage to the skin caused by ultraviolet light (see sunscreen). It is the broadest spectrum UVA and UVB reflector that is approved for use as a sunscreen by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and is completely photostable. When used as an ingredient in sunscreen, zinc oxide blocks both UVA (320–400 nm) and UVB (280–320 nm) rays of ultraviolet light. Zinc oxide and the other most common physical sunscreen, titanium dioxide, are considered to be nonirritating, nonallergenic, and non-comedogenic. Zinc from zinc oxide is, however, slightly absorbed into the skin 
Many sunscreens use nanoparticles of zinc oxide (along with nanoparticles of titanium dioxide) because such small particles do not scatter light and therefore do not appear white. There has been concern that they might be absorbed into the skin. A study published in 2010 found a 0.23% to 1.31% (mean 0.42%) of blood zinc levels in venous blood samples could be traced to zinc from ZnO nanoparticles applied to human skin for 5 days, and traces were also found in urine samples. In contrast, a comprehensive review of the medical literature from 2011 says that no evidence of systemic absorption can be found in the literature.
Zinc oxide nanoparticles can enhance the antibacterial activity of ciprofloxacin. It has been shown that nano ZnO which has the average size between 20 nm and 45 nm can enhance the antibacterial activity of ciprofloxacin against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli in vitro. The enhancing effect of this nanomaterial is concentration dependent against all test strains. This effect may be due to two reasons. First, zinc oxide nanoparticles can interfere with NorA protein, which is developed for conferring resistance in bacteria and has pumping activity that mediate the effluxing of hydrophilic fluoroquinolones from a cell. Second, zinc oxide nanoparticles can interfere with Omf protein, which is responsible for the permeation of quinolones into the cell.