Caldesene Protecting Powder

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Caldesene: The Itching, Scratching, Chafing, Diaper Rash-Treating Medicine That Helps You Rest Better

Sep 13, 2006 (Updated Oct 18, 2006)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:heals and protects skin from eczema, chafing, diaper rash, athlete's foot, heat rash, etc.

Cons:twist cap can get messy, white powder clings

The Bottom Line: Caldesene was once well guarded by my mother. It's now well guarded (and well regarded) by me.

Being 14 years older than your youngest sibling has both its advantages (being a source of memories) and disadvantages (being asked, “Aren’t you young to be her mother?”). But one of the perks I had because of my baby sister was being able to steal some of her “beauty” products. She was given prescription-strength salicylic acid for a skin condition she developed as an infant. This was right when that ingredient was making its way into OTC acne medication. Lucky me! I also got to use some of her sacred Caldesene powder. My mother guarded that pink bottle with her life. It was fool-proof stuff for treating diaper rash. But it also helped alleviate heat rash, my brother’s athlete’s foot, and my bikini line shaving disasters. Not until I had my own baby, did I remember the wonders of this powder. Although I bought it for my daughter’s heat/drooling rash last year and it worked beautifully, this stuff sits in my medicine cabinet not in her nursery.

Caldesene is a zinc oxide and talc-based powder that comes in a pink, plastic, cylindrical bottle. It has a shaker top that twists to open/close. I think it used to have a flip-top opening years ago. It is intended for use on babies and adults to “treat and prevent diaper rash and help protect irritated/chafed skin.” It has a very light, almost nonexistent “Fresh Scent.” Caldesene can be hard to find. For instance, it is not sold on But I’ve been able to find it at major drugstore chains. A 5-oz. bottle sells for about $5. It’s not cheap, but well worth the price in my book.

Active ingredients: Talc 81%, Zinc Oxide 15%
Inactive ingredients: Calcium Stearate, Fragrance

Although Caldesene can be (and often is) used on babies for diaper rash or chafing skin, I’m not going to discuss that here (see below for my daughter’s use). I, on the other hand, have used this powder over the years for many purposes.

For some reason, every year in October, I develop a rash on the inside of my elbow. I don’t know if it’s weather related or clothing related, but as soon as it gets cooler and I begin using long sleeves on a regular basis, the rash breaks out. I tried using anti-itch creams and some helped while others made my skin more tight and itchy. Last year, since I already had an open bottle of Caldesene at home, I decided to try it on me.

I’ve gotten into the habit of dispensing this powder on a countertop before I apply it. It just seems like an easier way to measure out how much I’m shaking and to clean up afterward. I pick up the powder with dry fingertips and blend it into my skin. The white powder has fine grains and smoothes on easily. It doesn’t dry out my hands either.

Within a couple of days, my elbow rash was almost entirely gone. I continued to apply this powder a couple times a week throughout last fall and the rash never came back. Now that fall is right around the corner, I’ve pulled the old pink bottle out of storage.

I’ve also used this powder after shaving my bikini line. Although I’ve now gotten into the habit of using an epilator, I was a long-suffering in-grown hair-red/blotchy/bumpy-skinned individual for many years. On a few occasions last year, it was so bad that I didn’t go anywhere near the beach for two weeks. My skin gets very raw and itchy after shaving. But the few times I remembered to use Caldesene immediately after my hair-removal routine, I was able to avoid much of that chaos. My skin still got a bit itchy and red, but I reapplied the Caldesene a couple of times in those first two days and I was fine.

I’ve also shaken some of this powder in my husband’s sweaty, smelly sneakers and given him some for his feet on a couple of occasions. He plays a lot of sports and, though he’s never had a full-blown case of athlete’s foot, I like to keep tabs on him.

My one complaint about this powder concerns the packaging. When I twist the top into the closed position, there’s always extra powder on the surface. I usually just dab it up with my fingertips and apply it on some other part of my body that could use a little protecting.

OK, I can’t write a review without mentioning my daughter so here’s a little information on using this powder on an infant. Last year, when my daughter was still too young to hold her head up all the time but old enough to be drooling like a wildebeest, she developed a smelly, icky rash in the folds of her neck. She also had something similar under her arms and between the chubby folds on her legs. Those were just impossible places to keep clean and dry at that point in her life and I didn’t know what to do to alleviate the redness, the peeling, or the putrid scent. I did what all new moms do, I asked my mother. Her first response: buy some Caldesene pronto.

I worried about putting powder on my daughter’s neck. It’s so close to her face and I didn’t want her inhaling the stuff. But I didn’t need much and I would shake some out onto the counter and then dab it with my fingertips. It would cake up on my finger and then easily spread onto her skin. Any leftover powder I put on the creases in my own skin: elbows, behind the knees, etc.

This stuff worked like a charm. I think within two days, her skin had completely healed. You can’t ask for better than that.

I've used a couple of times on diaper rash, too. It worked well, but the powder is very white and doesn't completely absorb. It just clings to the skin. This is good for the diaper area being treated since it creates a barrier but it left a white coating on my palm. It did wash off easily.

• Zinc Oxide/Talc for Babies & Adults.
• Treat and prevent diaper rash and help protect irritated/chafed skin.
• Two-Way Action:
o Seals out wetness
o Protects chafed skin

• Treats and prevents diaper rash
• Protects minor skin irritation

This review was part of joyfulgirl91's Taking Candy from a Baby write-off.

Recommend this product? Yes

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