You must have used calamine lotion at some point or other for treating various skin problems like sun burn or itching. It has a thick consistency and is a pleasant smelling pink colored lotion. Every household has a bottle of calamine lotion in the medicine cupboard that is used for treating various skin disorders. But what are the actual ingredients in this lotion that make it an effective over-the-counter (OTC) remedy for common skin allergies. It is a topical lotion that is made by mixing zinc oxide and iron(III) oxide in some specific proportion. The other ingredients present in this lotion are liquid paraffin, glyceryl monostearate, cetomacrogol and phenoxy ethanol.
Calamine Lotion Uses
Treating Contact Dermatitis
Calamine lotion has many uses and it has a soothing effect, when applied on the affected area. It is mainly used as a treatment for people suffering from contact dermatitis. It does not treat the condition of such a problem, but rather helps to treat the symptoms of contact dermatitis like itching, swelling, redness and inflammation. People suffering from chickenpox are advised to apply this lotion on the affected area. This helps to prevent the formation of spots after chickenpox and also helps to relieve itching to a great extent.
This lotion can also be used for getting relief from acne. Calamine lotion, not only speeds up the clearing process, but also prevents any spots from reappearing. The best thing about using calamine is that it helps in preventing any skin discoloration and acne scars from forming, which is normally seen after the acne subsides. As this lotion has drying properties, it helps to suck out excess sebum from the skin's surface. An oil free skin helps to prevent the formation of acne. Regular application of calamine by those who have acne prone skin, will help to control the formation of acne.
Treating Poison Ivy Rash
Another use of this lotion is for the treatment of poison ivy. If a person comes in contact with poison ivy, his/her skin will break out in rashes that are extremely itchy. Calamine lotion is very effective for treating poison ivy and it should be applied liberally after washing the affected area with water. Because of its cooling properties, it provides instant relief from the itching and the burning that is the characteristic of poison ivy rash. Calamine should be applied to the affected area 3 to 4 times per day, so that inflammation comes down quickly. It also provides relief for people suffering from poison oak and poison sumac.
When there is excessive exposure to the sun, the skin starts to redden and peel which is often accompanied by itching and sun tanning. This is known as sunburn. Calamine can be used for treating such problems. Since it contains zinc oxide which is also used in most sunscreens, it helps to reduce redness and swelling. Its cooling and soothing effect makes it very effective for treating sunburn. For best results, you need to apply this lotion 3 to 4 times a day to relieve the itching and redness. This type of treatment for sunburn should be accompanied by application of a cool compress to reduce inflammation and swelling.
Calamine is a very popular over-the-counter medicated lotion that is useful for curing a host of common skin problems. If you are sensitive to any of the calamine ingredients, you should consult your doctor before applying it.