A feast of health benefits with zinc and calamine lotion

A feast of health benefits with zinc and calamine lotion

Did you know that zinc has major health benefits? “Calamine lotion is a superb, safe lotion containing zinc oxide and zinc carbonate that has valuable anti-bacterial and anti-irritant properties,” says Simon Norton, Executive Director, International Zinc Association Africa.

Calamine lotion is a topical over-the-counter medication in the form of a soothing pink lotion. Its main health benefit is to relieve mild itchiness and skin irritation, for example from contact with plants such as poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac that can cause itching and skin irritation.

Calamine lotion relieves the itch, along with any pain or discomfort. It also assists to dry up any oozing or weeping that can develop on your skin due to such irritation. Other uses of calamine lotion include:

  • Bug bites: Apply calamine lotion to insect bites and stings to help with mild reactions. Apply the lotion several times a day until symptoms clear up or the bug bites are gone.
  • Chickenpox: Use calamine lotion to relieve the symptoms of this infectious condition. It can also prevent further skin infections.
  • Shingles: Along with antiviral medicines, calamine lotion can be used for shingles. Apply the lotion directly to the skin for some relief from the symptoms of this condition.
  • Swimmer’s itch: Calamine lotion can be used for rashes like swimmer’s itch, a skin condition that develops if you swim in water containing certain parasites.
  • Heat rash: Calamine lotion is ideal for heat rash as well. A heat rash is an area of the skin that becomes irritated when perspiration is trapped in the pores and ducts beneath the skin.
  • Scabies: A skin condition caused by small mites. To ease the itching from scabies, apply calamine lotion. Note that it can relieve the symptoms but will not get rid of the mites.
  • Chigger bites: Another type of mite that feeds off human skin. Their bites can cause skin irritation and itching.
  • Acne: While calamine lotion is not an acne treatment, it may help dry out pimples if used as a spot treatment.
  • Hives: Calamine lotion reduces the itching caused by this skin condition.

The active ingredients in calamine lotion are ZINC OXIDE and 0.5% iron oxide, giving it a distinctive pink colour. It is an over-the-counter anti-itch medication for topical use only, meaning applied to the skin. Be sure to follow all the directions on the package or contact your doctor or pharmacist for further information.

Shake the bottle well before use. Pour some of the lotion onto a cotton ball, cotton swab or soft cloth. Then dab the medication onto the affected area of your skin. Let the lotion dry and repeat the process as often as necessary.

Apart from calamine lotion, zinc is a mineral that is essential for many of the body’s normal functions and systems, including the immune system, wound healing, blood clotting, thyroid function, and the senses of taste and smell. Zinc also supports normal growth and development during pregnancy, childhood, and adolescence.