Having a first-aid box in your home is a must. You never know when accidents can happen.
Stocking up on key first-aid items will keep you prepared to respond quickly to common minor injuries and illnesses.
A first-aid kit obviously needs some antibiotic ointment, gauze, bandages and the like. But many people don’t think about including a bottle of calamine lotion.
Calamine lotion is an essential part of every first-aid kit. And by the way, it serves a lot of beauty purposes, too.
Known for its antiseptic and anti-allergic benefits, calamine lotion is not only mild but also safe. Plus, it’s a cost-effective solution to many skin issues.
Here are the top reasons why you must have calamine lotion in your first-aid kit.
1. Cures Acne
You may be surprised to learn that you can use calamine lotion to get rid of acne. The active ingredient in calamine lotion is zinc oxide, which is great for treating acne.
A study published in Dermatology Research and Practice in 2014 reports that zinc oxide has anti-inflammatory properties and this can help aid acne treatment (1).
In fact, calamine lotion also helps reduce the appearance of scars due to acne breakouts!
- Wash your face with lukewarm water and pat dry your skin.
- Apply a thin layer of calamine lotion on the acne.
- Leave it on for a couple of hours or overnight.
- Wash it off with water and pat dry your skin.
- Repeat once daily for a few days.
2. Treats Hives
Hives are itchy, raised welts on the skin that are often caused by an allergic reaction.
To deal with the itchiness associated with hives, calamine lotion can be very beneficial. It helps relieve itching by cooling your skin and speeding up the healing process.
A 2008 study published in Clinical & Experimental Immunology reports that antipruritic, cooling skin lotions like calamine lotion or 1% menthol in aqueous cream may help relieve itching (2).
- Apply a cold compress on the affected area for 10 minutes.
- Pat dry the skin thoroughly with a towel.
- Use a cotton ball to gently apply the calamine lotion.
- Repeat several times a day.
3. Soothes Skin Rashes
Skin rashes can occur due to several reasons, but one quick solution for irritating and uncomfortable skin rashes is calamine lotion.
As calamine lotion helps keep the skin moisture-free, it helps treat skin rashes and reduces the chance of an infection. It also prevents rashes from recurring.
- Clean the affected skin with a mild soap and lukewarm water.
- Pat dry the area with a towel.
- Use a cotton ball to gently apply calamine lotion on the rash. You do not need to rinse it off.
- Repeat several times a day.
4. Treats Allergic Reactions
If you have a mild allergic reaction to an insect bite or sting, rashes may appear on any part of the body or be widely distributed on large areas of your skin.
To reduce the rashes and itchiness, calamine lotion can help a lot due to its anti-inflammatory nature.
- Wash the area of the bite with soap and water.
- Place a cold compress or ice pack on the area for about 10 minutes.
- Apply calamine lotion on the area several times a day to help relieve itching and pain.
5. Cures Eczema
Eczema is a very common chronic skin disorder with symptoms including dry skin, redness, swelling, flaking, blisters, cracking, crusted sores and constant itching. When it comes to fighting eczema, calamine lotion is your best friend.
The zinc oxide and ferrous oxide in calamine lotion help in controlling the symptoms and improving your skin condition.
- After washing the affected area with cool water, apply calamine lotion and allow it to dry. Do it several times a day.
- Alternatively, you can mix calamine lotion with an equal amount of aloe vera gel, and apply it on the affected area 2 or 3 times a day.
6. Accelerates Wound Healing
Minor wounds can happen to anyone. They can cause bleeding, redness, swelling, inflammation, pus, pain and tenderness.
To treat minor wounds, calamine lotion can be very helpful. The wound-healing property of calamine lotion is attributed to the zinc it contains. The mineral is important for treating wounds and skin regeneration.
It also inhibits the growth of microbes, thus preventing any infection and accelerating the wound healing.
- Use cool water and a mild soap to wash the wounded area.
- Gently pat the area dry using a clean towel.
- Apply a good amount of calamine lotion.
- Cover it with a sterile dressing or bandage and leave it on overnight.
- The next morning, remove the bandage and wash the area.
- Again apply calamine lotion.
7. Heals Prickly Heat
Prickly heat, also called a sweat rash or heat rash, is common among people who live in hot, humid climates. It causes mild inflammation, stinging or prickling sensations and small, red round bumps or rashes that itch.
While the best way to treat prickly heat is to avoid situations that lead to excessive sweating, such as hot, humid environments and strenuous physical activity, you can also use calamine lotion to soothe your skin and treat the rash.
When applied topically on the affected area, it cools the skin and reduces inflammation and itchiness.
- Take a bath and scrub your skin to get rid of dead skin cells.
- Pat dry your body with a soft towel.
- Apply calamine lotion all over the affected area.
- Leave it on overnight.
- The next morning, take a bath again.
- Zinc Therapy in Dermatology: A Review. Dermatology Research and Practice. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4120804/. Published 2014.
- An approach to the patient with urticaria. Clinical and Experimental Immunology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2492902/. Published August 2008.