A combination of zinc oxide with 0.5% of ferric oxide or a zinc compound is what it takes to make what is popularly known worldwide as calamine (1). Calamine has been around since the early nineteenth century and has been a common fixture in medicine cabinets and first aid boxes in homes all across the world. Calamine lotion is primarily known and used for its ant-pruritic (anti-itch agent) and mild antiseptic qualities.
Ironically there is no evidence to back up the beneficial properties of calamine however the fact that it has been used and trusted for common skin ailments for decades now speaks for itself. In 1992, The U.S Food and Drug Administration (2) made a press release stating that there was no proof to show that calamine was safe to use and effective as a topical ointment; however a few years later in September 2008, The U.S Food and Drug Administration released a document approving calamine as a topical over the counter skin protectant, both effective and safe for usage.
Your skin being as important as the clothes you use to cover it, reading further would give you an important insight to the benefits and uses of calamine for the skin we live in.
Benefits and Uses of Calamine Lotion
1. Soothing Remedy for Poison Ivy and other Toxic Plants:
A topical skin protectant that has been around for ages, calamine is known to give relief to itching caused by poison ivy and other toxic plants (3). It has soothing properties that act on the skin when applied topically to give a cooling sensation that distracts from the itching sensation caused by the oil secretions from toxic plants as they come in contact with your skin.
When your skin comes in contact with poison ivy, poison oak or sumac, blood vessels develop gaps that leak fluids through the skin causing blisters and itching however as you cool your skin down by applying calamine these gaps contract to reduce oozing fluids hence calamine effectively works to control itchiness and oozing blisters caused by toxic plants such as poison ivy.
2. Calamine for Pregnant Women:
Nine months of pregnancy brings with it its share of trials and tribulations. Nausea, morning sickness, backaches, loss of appetite and sleeplessness prevail even as your unborn child is safely ensconced in your belly and to top it off you may even have to deal with bad skin issues like itchy skin on the stomach and abdomen, spots and blotchy skin on the face and other parts of the body and in some cases even eczema, calamine known for its mildness is often used to treat skin issues brought on by pregnancy. It even helps to smooth out stretch marks over a course of time post pregnancy (4).
[ Read: Anti Pigmentation Cream ]
3. Calamine for Acne and Dry Skin:
Highly valued and a bestselling over the counter topical lotion, calamine lotion for skin is purchased and used worldwide to treat acne and dry skin (5). Combined with other essential oils and bottled as a pale pink coloured lotion, calamine effectively moisturizes the skin and its zinc properties have a drying effect on acne and pimples.
[ Read: Berina Hair Straightening Cream ]
4. Calamine for Insect Bites:
Symptoms of insect bites usually involve itching and stinging sensation to the area bitten. This stinging or itchy sensation is caused by venom or other substances injected into the skin by the insect involved. Calamine once applied to the infected area evaporates and causes a temporary yet much needed cooling sensation hence calamine is often used as a first aid in cases of insect bites (6). However since calamine is only a mild lotion, if inflammation or pain and itchiness persists its best to report to a registered medical practitioner.
5. Calamine for Infants and Children:
Calamine is a popular home remedy quite integral to infant care. Most mothers store and trust calamine for their toddlers. Effective on nappy rash and other mild skin problems in infants, calamine is a must have for parents during the infancy stage of their children. As infants grow older and before the challenges of adolescent acne, the first skin problems they come in contact with is often measles or chickenpox and use of calamine lotion has been a source of constant relief for these issues since ages (7).
6. Calamine for Head Lice:
Head lice are often a reoccurring problem for school going children or can even be contracted by using public transport or in public swimming pools and theaters. Calamine is too mild to be effective for killing head lice (8), but it is used in shampoos that eradicate lice as an agent to relieve itching.
[ Read: Moisturizes the skin ]
Hope you got a clear idea with these calamine lotion uses. Just follow them as such to get rid of varied mentioned ailments.
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