Calamine, also known as calamine lotion, is a medication used to treat mild itchiness. This includes from sunburn, insect bites, poison ivy, poison oak, or other mild skin conditions. It may also help dry out skin irritation. It is applied on the skin as a cream or lotion.
Calamine lotion and container
|Pronunciation||KAL a mine|
Side effects may include skin irritation. It is considered to be safe in pregnancy. Calamine is a combination of zinc oxide and 0.5% ferric oxide (Fe2O3). The lotion is produced with additional ingredients such as phenol and calcium hydroxide.
Calamine lotion has been used as far back as 1500 BC. It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines for being one of the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system. Calamine is available over the counter as a generic medication. The wholesale cost in the developing world is about US$0.25–3.85 per 100-ml bottle. In the United Kingdom, it costs the National Health Service about £0.44.
Calamine lotion is a component of the zinc-impregnated gauze wrap used to treat ulcers of the leg in Unna boots.
In a 1992 press release, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that no proof had been submitted showing calamine to be safe for use or effective in treating bug bites, stings, and rashes from poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac.
In a September 2, 2008 document, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended applying topical over-the-counter skin protectants, such as calamine, to relieve the itch caused by poisonous plants such as poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac.
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