Calamine lotion is a topic treatment that combines zinc oxide and iron(III) oxide to produce a lotion that is utilized to help mitigate irritants associated contact dermatitis. Calamine lotion often appears as pink in color and has a thick, creamy texture in many cases. It is sold primarily as a generic and is available over the counter in many countries, including the United States and Canada.
Calamine lotion is thought to be able to help soothe and protect the skin when it becomes irritated. If is often used in treating symptoms associated with poison ivy infection and chicken pox. In these cases, calamine lotion can provide much needed relief for those suffering these conditions. However, it should be noted that, as an antipuritic or anti-itch drug, it cannot treat the problem, only the symptoms.
Calamine lotion has a number of other uses as well. For those who suffer harsh reactions to insect bites, calamine lotion can be used to soothe those symptoms. Many have used it successfully to soothe sunburns. It is also a mild antiseptic that can be used to help ward off other types of infections.
Calamine lotion can also be used to treat acne, though it may not be as proficient in treating the problem as some of the other topical treatments available. However, using the lotion may provide some immediately benefits, such as lessening the irritation and making the blemishes blend in with the skin a little better. When using calamine lotion around the face, care should be taken to avoid the eyes and other mucous membranes. Calamine lotion has a tendency to dry out the skin and if it contacts these areas it can become an irritant itself.
Calamine lotion is usually applied on a daily basis, often twice or more daily as conditions warrant. In some cases, if the itching or irritation gets worse, it may be wise to consult a doctor before continuing to use the calamine lotion. However, it is rare to have any serious, negative side effects resulting from its use.
Many people may know calamine lotion best through the most popular brand being sold, Caladryl™. The packaging is distinctive with its pink lotion, bottle and other writing on the bottle. However, despite what may be thought, Caladryl™ is not just a calamine lotion; it includes both calamine and pramoxine HCI.