With more and more brands coming up with ‘advanced’ skincare products featuring ‘unique’ ingredients, it is easy for women to get tempted and spend thousands of bucks on those ‘highly appealing’ new launches. But most of the times, these so-called ‘super effective’ products fail to live up to their claims. While this leaves us extremely disappointed at times, there are certain old skincare products that keep our skin woes away in a much cheaper way. Calamine lotion is one such humble skincare product that has always been underrated in terms of its goodness. In this article, we will talk about the benefits of calamine lotion on skin and everything else you should know about it.
What Is Calamine Lotion?
Calamine lotion is basically a type of anti-itch medication available in the form of 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 considered as a great choice for handling the discomfort caused during sunburn, eczema, measles, chicken pox, insect bites, insect stings, and other similar skin conditions. The lotion also has antiseptic properties, which help treat infections efficiently (1).
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, which is extremely useful for the treatment of wounds and the regeneration of skin cells. Therefore, the lotion can be used for the treatment of any kind of skin problem. Apart from its soothing effect on the skin, it inhibits the growth of microbes on it 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.
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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. After cleaning the wound nicely with an antiseptic wash, apply some calamine lotion to it. Then, either leave it open or dress it by using a 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 the treatment of acne. Zinc oxide present in it is a wonderful astringent, which facilitates the shrinking as well as the healing of the zits. If you are prone to breakouts, simply 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 easily. Simply use it the way you would use it to treat acne. Continue till the scars or blemishes are completely gone. However, if used consistently for treating acne, this lotion can help you prevent the formation of scars or marks eventually.
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4. Curing Eczema
The antiseptic and astringent properties of calamine lotion make it an excellent remedy for the treatment of eczema. 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 feel like scratching at it and making the condition worse, which ensures that there will be no scar in the future.
5. Treatment Of Burns
Calamine lotion can be extremely soothing to the skin, especially if it has got 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 also the lotion will prevent the formation of pus-filled blisters.
6. Effective 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 important to know about them so that you can make an informed decision about its usage. Here are a few side effects of calamine lotion:
- Skin sensitivity (rashes, swelling, redness, etc.) is usually a common side effect of calamine lotion. In very rare cases, the skin may break into hives or the person may experience allergic reactions, infections, asphyxiation, or trouble breathing, which need to 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 quantities, 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. It is also important that you clean and wash the troubled area of your skin thoroughly and pat it dry. Now, dab the product directly onto the skin with fingertips, rub it in 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.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I Use Calamine Lotion On Face?
Of course, you can as it comes with numerous benefits for your skin. But it leaves a clay-like thin film on the facial skin upon drying. If you are comfortable with it, you can definitely go ahead.
Does The Lotion Remove Dark Spots?
Though calamine lotion is not considered as 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. For this, 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, wipe the area with the washcloth gently without scrubbing and the lotion will come off easily.
- “What Is Calamine Topical?“, EverydayHealth.com