In the realm of skincare, the market is flooded with new and supposedly advanced products, often boasting unique ingredients. The allure of these launches can lead women to splurge significant amounts in the hope of achieving remarkable results. However, more often than not, these hyped-up products fall short of their promises, leaving users disappointed. Amidst this trend, certain traditional skincare products continue to address skin concerns effectively, and one such underrated gem is Calamine lotion. This article explores the various benefits of calamine lotion for the skin and provides comprehensive insights into its use.
What Is Calamine Lotion?
Calamine lotion is a type of anti-itch medication available in lotion. It is either made of zinc oxide and ferric oxide (0.5%) or a combination of zinc carbonate and other related compounds. The chemical composition of this lotion gives it a ‘counter-irritant effect’ that produces calming and soothing effects on the itchy and irritated parts of the skin. When applied topically, calamine evaporates from the skin by creating a cooling sensation, which gives instant relief from all kinds of inflammation. Hence, calamine is an excellent choice for handling the discomfort caused by sunburn, eczema, measles, chickenpox, insect bites, insect stings, and other similar skin conditions. The lotion also has antiseptic properties, which help treat infections efficiently (1) (2).
Calamine lotion has a typical pink color, which comes from the ferric oxide present in it. It also has a smooth, creamy texture with a thick consistency.
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Why Is Calamine Lotion Beneficial For Skin?
As mentioned before, calamine lotion is primarily made of zinc compounds. Zinc is a heavy metal that is extremely useful for treating wounds and regenerating skin cells. Therefore, the lotion can be used to treat any skin problem. Apart from its soothing effect on the skin, it inhibits the growth of microbes by sterilizing the area on which it has been used. In addition, calamine lotion has long been considered an excellent remedy for acne and allergies.
What Can Calamine Lotion Be Used For?
Calamine lotion finds use in a variety of skin conditions. Here are some of its most popular uses:
1. Dressing Of Wounds
The sterilizing and antiseptic properties make calamine lotion an excellent choice for the dressing of wounds. First, apply some calamine lotion after cleaning the wound nicely with an antiseptic wash. Then, leave it open or dress it using clean cotton gauze (if the wound is too deep or very large).
2. Treatment Of Acne
One of the most popular uses of calamine lotion is acne treatment. Zinc oxide is an excellent astringent that facilitates zits’ shrinking and healing. If you are prone to breakouts, apply a thin layer of the lotion on the clean skin, focusing on the more affected areas. Leave the lotion on your skin overnight and go to bed. Continue repeating it till the acne is healed.
3. Removal Of Blemishes
If you have old scars, marks, or other blemishes on your skin, calamine lotion can help treat them quickly. Use it the way you would use it to treat acne. Continue till the scars or blemishes are entirely gone. However, if used consistently for treating acne, this lotion can help you eventually prevent the formation of scars or marks.
4. Curing Eczema
Calamine lotion’s antiseptic and astringent properties make it an excellent remedy for eczema treatment. If you have been plagued with this painful and unsightly dermatitis, apply calamine lotion to the affected area, and you will feel immediate relief. Apart from treating eczema, the lotion also soothes the affected area to a large extent. As a result, you do not think like scratching at it and making the condition worse, ensuring that there will be no scar in the future.
5. Treatment Of Burns
Calamine lotion can be incredibly soothing to the skin, especially if it has burnt. If you have experienced sunburns or heat burns, apply the soothing calamine lotion on the affected area and leave it open. Not only will your skin be soothed, but the lotion will also prevent the formation of pus-filled blisters.
6. Effective Sunblock
The zinc compounds in calamine lotion are efficient absorbers of the sun’s damaging UVA and UVB rays. This makes it a very effective sunscreen or sunblock.
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Side Effects Of Calamine Lotion
Calamine lotion is a medicated product that contains chemicals. Therefore, like any other chemical preparation, it, too, could have some side effects. Though these side effects are rare, it is essential to know about them to decide their usage. Here are a few side effects of calamine lotion: (3)
- Skin sensitivity (rashes, swelling, redness, etc.) is usually a common side effect of calamine lotion. In rare cases, the skin may break into hives, or the person may experience allergic reactions, infections, asphyxiation, or trouble breathing, which must be informed to the doctor immediately.
- Calamine lotion is for topical use only. It could be toxic if ingested by mouth, as zinc oxide can be poisonous to the human body. Depending on the quantities consumed, it can even cause ‘zinc oxide poisoning.’ If not treated immediately, it could be fatal as well. If ingested in small amounts, the lotion may trigger allergic reactions.
- Some brands of calamine lotion may not be suitable for general use. Some companies often add small amounts of local anesthetics to increase the pain-relieving properties of the lotion. This could cause an increased risk of side effects.
How To Use Calamine Lotion?
When the bottle of calamine lotion is left standing, its ingredients separate. Hence, make sure that you shake it well before each application. You must also clean and wash the troubled area of your skin thoroughly and pat it dry. Now, dab the product directly onto the skin with your fingertips, rub it gently, and let it dry. A thin film may be visible on the skin upon drying so you can smooth it out with the help of a cotton ball during the application. It can be reapplied as often as required. Do not forget to wash your hands with soap and water after each application.
Though an overdose of calamine is not expected to be dangerous, you should not use it in larger amount than directed on the label or for longer time than recommended by your doctor.
Calamine lotion, often overshadowed by modern skincare products, emerges as a potent and versatile solution for various skin concerns. Comprising zinc compounds, it offers soothing relief and inhibits microbial growth, making it practical for wound dressing, acne treatment, blemish removal, eczema relief, and sunburn soothing. The lotion’s antiseptic properties contribute to its diverse applications, preventing infections and promoting skin health. While side effects are rare, users should be mindful of potential skin sensitivity and allergic reactions. Proper usage involves shaking the bottle, applying it to clean, dry skin, and washing hands after each application for optimal results.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I Use Calamine Lotion On Face?
Of course, you can use calamine on the face as it has numerous benefits. But it leaves a clay-like thin film on the facial skin upon drying. So, if you are comfortable with it, you can go ahead.
Does The Lotion Remove Dark Spots?
Though calamine lotion is not considered a so-called dark spot treatment, it can enhance the tone and texture of the skin in the troubled area. As a result, your dark spots can become lighter over time.
Should I Use It For Face Whitening?
Well, regular use of calamine lotion can improve the tone of your skin to a large extent, thereby brightening up your complexion significantly. You need to apply the product to your skin and leave it overnight. However, this is not recommended as calamine lotion comes loaded with chemicals, and long-term use may lead you to undesired skin conditions.
How To Remove Calamine Lotion From Skin?
Soak a clean washcloth in lukewarm water and lay it over your skin to loosen the dried film of calamine lotion. After 15 minutes, gently wipe the area with the washcloth without scrubbing, and the lotion will come off quickly.
- “What Is Calamine Topical?“, EverydayHealth.com
- “Calamine Lotion – Uses, Side Effects, and More” – webmd.com
- “About CALAMINE” – apollopharmacy.in