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a medicinal preparation consisting of a powder or a mixture of several powders. Dusting powder is prescribed for the skin for therapeutic, hygienic, or cosmetic reasons. Powdery, chemically inert plant substances (various starches) and mineral substances (talc, zinc oxide, kaolin) are usually used in dusting powder.
By drying and cooling the skin, dusting powder allays inflammation. Its hygroscopic particles adsorb perspiration and sebum and increase the surface of evaporation and heat exchange. When necessary, substances with pharmacological properties are added to dusting powders. They are used to treat acute skin inflammations, to cleanse the skin when there is increased sweating or seborrhea, to protect the skin from external irritations (solar rays), and, sometimes, to make ointments and creams adhere better to the skin. Various oils, special dyes, fragrances, and essential oils are added to cosmetic dusting powders.