Calamine, also known as calamine lotion, is a medication used to treat mild itchiness. This includes from sunburn, insect bite, or other mild skin conditions. It may also help dry out skin irritation. It is applied as a cream or lotion to the skin.
|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 following the addition of other 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, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system. Calamine is available as a generic medication and over the counter. The wholesale cost in the developing world is about 0.25 to 3.85 USD per 100 ml bottle. In the United Kingdom, this amount costs the NHS 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 OTC 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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