How Does Calamine Lotion Really Work? An Expert Weighs In
No matter how cautious we are, we 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 the moment when we finally find some form of relief from these ailments is pure heaven, which is why calamine lotion is our best bet.
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 talked to board-certified dermatologist and Skincare.com consultant Dr. Dendy Engelman to find out what calamine lotion is and how it works to defend our skin against the itching sensations that are all too familiar in the summertime.
“The main ingredients in calamine lotion are zinc oxide and ferric oxide, or zinc carbonate,” Dr. 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. You can use this daily wherever temporary itches occur, although if the sensation persists, talk to your dermatologist.
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, or order one like Caladryl online, to keep in your emergency kit at home. Because you never know when you might need it.
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!