Struggling with an itchy skin condition? We speak to our resident pharmacist about calamine, a medicine traditionally used to relieve itching and soothe minor skin irritations.
By Rita Ghelani
Calamine lotion has been hailed for its soothing skin benefits for centuries. Our resident pharmacist Rita Ghelani explains why calamine lotion has retained its popularity over the years.
What is calamine cream and lotion used for?
- Soothing itchy, irritated or sunburnt skin.
- Helping to relief the itching of chickenpox
- Soothing skin chafe.
How does calamine work?
Calamine works by its counter-irritant effect. After application to the skin the calamine evaporates, which produces a cooling effect that helps distract you from the itch. This sensation also helps relieve sunburn.
Calamine lotions and creams also contain the active ingredient zinc oxide, which has soothing effect and also has antiseptic properties that help prevent infection from scratching.
Key facts about calamine lotion and cream
Calamine lotion is available over the counter in most chemists and it’s easy to use:
✔️ The ingredients in calamine lotion separate, so always shake the bottle well before using.
✔️ Dab the cream or lotion onto the affected area of skin using cotton wool and re-apply as needed.
✔️ Your do not need a prescription for calamine cream/lotion.
✔️ Calamine lotion and cream can be used safely in pregnancy and if you are breastfeeding.
⚠️ Calamine lotion can cause skin irritation in people who are hypersensitive to any of the ingredients. Stop using calamine if your skin condition gets worse or you get a rash after using it.
Can I use calamine with other medicines?
Calamine is not known to affect other medicines, but if you are using other creams, ointments or lotions then you should leave at least 30 minutes between applying calamine and other medicated skin products.