Calamine Lotion

If you have been attacked by mosquitoes, brushed against poison ivy or suffered from chicken pox you are probably already very familiar with calamine lotion.  This is a generic term for a thick lotion with zinc oxide and a very small amount of iron oxide as the active ingredients.  It can relieves itching and soothe skin inflammation.

Calamine lotion is available over the counter in most countries.  Your pharmacist will almost certainly sell it and will be able to provide you with useful advice.  Products sold as calamine lotion contain other ingredients, which may trigger allergies.  Check what your cream contains before buying if this might be a problem for you. 

It is sold to soothe skin irritations from poisonous plants, biting insects, and other itches and inflammations.  Although the US Food and Drug Administration considered banning it in 1992 for not being proven to have medical benefits they later recommended it for relief of irritations caused by plants. 

Certainly many people have found it to relieve sometimes nearly unbearable itching.  As you will almost definitely scratch when afflicted, and scratching causes further problems, this means something that soothes is worth having in your medical cupboard.  Calamine lotions and creams also have a cooling effect and so can help with sunburn as well as itching. 

This lotion should only be applied to the area affected.  You should not swallow it, or let it get in your eyes.  Those who experience a reaction to calamine lotion should discontinue use, wash off all traces, and seek medical attention if it persists.  

If you are pregnant, breast feeding or on any medication it is advisable to check with your doctor, although it is unlikely there will be any problems.  Also see your doctor if your itch was caused by a serious illness, or you have no idea what caused it at all.  You need more than just immediate relief of the symptom in these cases. 

Like all medicines, calamine lotion should be stored somewhere cool and dry.  If you have young children, or pets, put it somewhere inaccessible to them.  Since it can stain you might also want to take care it does not get onto your clothes or towels.  

Calamine lotion is one of the basic products that you might have in your medicine cupboard.  Like other basic products such as headache pills it is for short-term relief of symptoms, nothing else.  While you should not attempt to deal with serious conditions with these type of products, it is handy to have them in for everyday minor problems.