Asked Questions

Here, we have aimed to answer the questions that we get asked most.  If you have a question which isn’t addressed here, please send an email or call your local representative.

What is the main difference between ICHTHOPASTE, VISCOPASTE PB7 and ZIPZOC?

Each of the products contains a different amount of Zinc Oxide Paste – Ichthopaste has 6.32%, Viscopaste PB7 has 10% and Zipzoc has 20%.  Ichthopaste and Viscopaste are presented as a cotton bandage whilst Zipzoc is presented as a cotton stocking.  Zipzoc contains NO preservatives.  Ichthopaste also has 2% Ichthammol as a key ingredient.

Are Zinc Oxide products only for use on venous leg ulcers?

No. Paste bandage products are often used on venous leg ulcers and their associated skin conditions, however they are also used widely in Dermatology, for example to treat Atopic Eczema and Dermatitis.

What is the wear time of ICHTHOPASTE, VISCOPASTE PB7 and ZIPZOC?

All three products may be left in situ for up to 7 days and then must be re-applied or removed.  This, however, will depend on your treatment plan and the bandage or stocking may require changing more frequently.  All products are single use items – please use a new bandage or stocking for each dressing change.

Do I need to use a dressing beneath the zinc oxide bandage or stocking?

No, all three products may be used as the primary dressing and placed directly over the wound or damaged skin, however, please ask your clinician for advice on this if you have very fragile skin as they may advise to use a light, non-adherent dressing beneath the bandage or stocking.

Do I need to cover the Zinc Oxide Bandage or Stocking?

Yes you will need to cover the bandage or stocking to prevent soiling of clothing.  Use a simple retention bandage, a garment, or if a vascular assessment has been carried out and you have been advised to do so by a clinician, the bandage or stocking may be worn under compression therapy systems.

What age groups can I use the Zinc Oxide products on?

All ages can be treated with Ichthopaste, Viscopaste or Zipzoc, from babies to the elderly.  Only use any of the products on the advice of a healthcare professional.

Can I use topical steroids or other preparations on the skin before applying the bandage or stocking?

Yes you can use steroids or other preparations before applying.  However, be aware that one of the functions of occlusive bandages is to increase absorption. Care must be taken if it is decided to apply topical steroid, anaesthetic, anti-microbial or retinoid preparations under the bandage as their absorption may be significantly increased, leading to a shorter duration of effect.

Do I need to patch test before application and for how long?

We recommend carrying out a patch test for 48 hours before initial use.  Cut a small piece of the bandage or stocking and place on the skin of the patients’ back.  Cover it with a dressing and leave in place for 48 hours.  If there is no unwanted reaction on the skin, you are ok to use the product.

How should I store the products?

Keep the Zinc Oxide products in a dry area, away from direct sunlight and be sure to store them where the temperature is below 25 degrees Celsius.

Do I need to pleat the bandage on the foot?

We recommend that the Zinc Oxide bandage is pleated on the foot as well as on the lower limb. Where there is tissue damage from a wound or skin condition, the inflammatory effect during the healing process can cause swelling, therefore to avoid tightening of the bandage if swelling occurs, we recommend that the bandage is pleated to avoid damage to the foot.

Can I simply cut the bandage into strips instead of using the pleating method?

Yes you can cut into strips and apply the bandage to the affected areas.

What are the contra-indications to me using any of the Zinc Paste products?

Avoid using the products on diabetic foot ulcers or arterial ulcerations.  Also avoid where there is a known sensitivity to Zinc Oxide or to any of the other ingredients (always patch test for 48 hours before initial use).  As Ichthopaste contains Gelatine, it may not be considered suitable for people from some cultures – please check.