How Does Calamine Lotion Really Work? An Expert Explains
Ever wonder how calamine lotion actually works? We tapped a top dermatologist to get the details!
No matter how cautious we are, we’ve all, at some point or another, played victim to bug bites, sunburns, and other skin ailments inflicted upon us by Mother Earth. Perhaps this is her payback for some of the ways we mistreat her, or perhaps it is to teach us a lesson—read: apply your sunscreen, wear your bug spray, and steer clear of anything that resembles ivy or oak leaves the next time you go on a hike. Regardless of the reasons for why we itch, we can all agree that in the moments when we finally find some form of relief from these ailments, there is nothing—literally…nothing—more satisfying in that moment. How do we reach this euphoric state of satisfaction, you ask? We know a guy.
A camping trip staple and our skin’s saving grace when we can’t quit the itch is undoubtedly calamine lotion. This thick, pink, creamy lotion is often recommended to help temporarily relieve the itch from bug bites, poison ivy, and more. But have you ever wondered what gives this magical anti-itch potion its powers? Us too, so we turned to board-certified dermatologist, and Skincare.com expert, Dr. Dendy Engelman to find out what calamine lotion is and how it works in defense of our skin against the itching sensations that are all too familiar in the summer time.
“The main ingredients in calamine lotion are zinc oxide and ferric oxide, or zinc carbonate,” Engelman explains. What do each of these ingredients have in common? All house antiseptic, astringent, and antipruritic properties, making them perfect for those itchy bug bites. Whether you are an outdoorsy person or not, the next time you make a trip to your local drugstore, you may want to pick up a bottle of calamine lotion to keep in your emergency kit at home. Because you never know when you might need it!
The main ingredients in calamine lotion are zinc oxide and ferric oxide, or zinc carbonate.
Have a bug bite and don’t have calamine lotion on hand? Check out Dr. Engelman’s tips for a homemade tincture that can help temporarily relieve the itch!