The Rhode Island Medical Association invented Gold Bond Medicated Powder in 1882. For almost 100 years, it was distributed through the Northeastern United States as an anti-itch powder. By 1996, it was a nationally known brand with multimillion dollar sales figures and an estimated 69 percent market share of the body powder market, according to its former owner, The Himmel Group. Gold Bond is renowned for its ability to control and soothe itching and chafing.
Prevent and Control Jock Itch
The Mayo Clinic reports that jock itch is a fungal infection of the inner thighs, buttocks and genitalia, which manifests itself in a red, itchy rash. The rash is caused by the buildup of moisture in the groin area, due to sweat that does not dry. One of the active ingredients in Gold Bond powder is zinc oxide, which keeps your skin dry by absorbing moisture, and soothes and protects skin. The other active ingredient, menthol, provides relief from itching and cools your skin.
Common Skin Itch Relief
Itching is generally a reaction to some other skin condition--fungal or bacterial infection, insect bite, sunburn or allergic reaction, to name a few. When skin tissue becomes inflamed, the result is that familiar feeling that can only be soothed by scratching. Thorough bathing and washing of the infected area or oral medications can cure the cause of your itch, but the itch itself often remains. Zinc oxide soothes the outer layer of skin, while menthol penetrates, causing a cooling sensation.
Gold Bond makes its own baby powder blend, combining zinc oxide, cornstarch and kaolin, which the website Ageless describes as a white powder that absorbs skin impurities and draws out excess oils and toxins. BabyCenter, a parenting website, writes that diaper rash is caused by chafing from diapers and prolonged exposure to wetness. The three ingredients in Gold Bond Baby Powder work together to defeat diaper rash on your baby. Cornstarch and zinc oxide absorb moisture. The zinc oxide also provides a mild soothing sensation to the area. The kaolin draws out any infection-causing toxins that may have settled on the body.
Control Athlete's Foot and Smelly Shoes
You develop Athlete's Foot the same way jock itch forms. In fact, the fungal infection is related and can spread on the body from your feet to your groin area. Applying Gold Bond powder to your feet can absorb the sweat, keeping the feet dry and preventing fungal infections from developing due to sweat buildup. Athlete's Foot is not the only problem caused by foot sweat. As you walk, run or workout, sweat is released through the bed of your feet and pools in the soles of your shoes. When it dries and builds up in the fabric of the shoe, fungi can form and the telltale stinky feet smell develops. Shaking some Gold Bond in the shoe before a workout or physical activity can stop the smell before it starts by absorbing the sweat before it can settle in.
Jared Paventi is the communications director for a disease-related nonprofit in the Northeast. He holds a master's degree from Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication and a bachelor's degree from St. Bonaventure University. He also writes a food appreciation blog: Al Dente.