Hi, I’m Dr. Joshua Zeichner, a dermatologist at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. So you went out on a boat yesterday, got a little too much sun and now your skin is red, sensitive and itchy. What should you do?
Well, the first thing to know is that calamine lotion is not the right treatment for sunburns! Calamine lotion is formulated to help relieve the itching associated with poison ivy and other types of rashes. However, it does little to nothing for a sunburn. In fact, some people can have an irritant contact dermatitis to calamine lotion itself!
But what should you use instead? Well, there are several options. To help soothe the irritation associated with sunburns, you can use topical steroids such as hydrocortisone cream or triamcinolone ointment. You can also use creams with anti-inflammatory ingredients like aloe vera or soy extract to help take down the redness and swelling associated with sunburns. I would recommend staying away from products that contain numbing anesthetic ingredients such as benzocaine or menthol as these can actually worsen inflammation over time. And if the pain from
For people who don’t feel like reading this whole blog, I’ll give a quick summary: Calamine lotion does not work for sunburns. It may be fine for other types of burns, but it has no effect on sunburns.
Now, for those of you who want the real details…
Calamine lotion is a mixture of zinc oxide and ferric oxide with a small amount of zinc carbonate that is dissolved in water. It is commonly used to treat skin irritations, including sunburns, poison ivy and poison oak. When applied to the skin, calamine acts as a mild astringent and has cooling properties that can help reduce itchiness caused by the skin irritation.
As you can see from the ingredients above, calamine does not have any active ingredients that would help with sunburns. The zinc oxide and ferric oxide are inert materials; they don’t react with your skin or change the way your skin heals from sunburn. The zinc carbonate interacts with your skin in a number of ways, but none of them have anything to do with healing from sunburns.
So why do people think calamine works on sunburns? Well, according to the American
If you’ve had a bad sunburn, you’re likely to be desperate for relief. But before you reach for the calamine lotion, here’s what you should know.
Calamine lotion is a mixture of zinc oxide and iron oxide. It can be used for a variety of minor skin irritations, including poison ivy, chickenpox, insect stings and bites, and sunburns. The zinc oxide component can help calm inflammation and itching by drying out excess fluid from the rash or burn site.
But there are several reasons why calamine lotion isn’t the best choice for treating a sunburn. For one thing, it doesn’t actually have much anti-inflammatory or analgesic (pain-relieving) power on its own. For another, it can make your skin more sensitive to the sun than it already is — which is not ideal after a painful flare-up of photosensitivity.
If you insist on using calamine lotion to relieve sunburn discomfort despite this advice, here are some tips to keep in mind:
* Use just enough to cover the affected area without rubbing any off onto your clothes or bedding; it won’t do any good once it gets
We all know that sunburns are not fun. They’re painful, they can make you feel sick, and sometimes they cause blisters! As if that wasn’t bad enough, the worst thing about getting a sunburn is having to put calamine lotion on it. Calamine lotion is supposed to ease the pain of sunburn, but it doesn’t help at all.
I know I’m going to get some angry comments from people who love calamine lotion. But before you write in, let me explain why I think your favorite lotion doesn’t work.
Calamine lotion is just pink-colored Vaseline with some zinc oxide mixed in to give it a nice color. And as everyone knows, Vaseline doesn’t do anything for sunburns. The zinc oxide might have some effect by blocking UV rays, but only if you put it on before you go out in the sun (and then you’d look ridiculous). If you put it on after you get burned, well, it won’t really be able to block any rays.
So there you have it: calamine lotion isn’t very good for treating sunburns. A better solution
Calamine lotion is a topical skin treatment often recommended for sunburns and poison ivy. The product is typically pink in color, itchy on the skin, and has a soothing effect. It’s made from zinc oxide, which is the active ingredient that calms the irritated skin. This ingredient works by drying up oozing and weeping. It also contains components like ferric oxide, which gives it that characteristic pink color, zinc acetate, and iron acetate.
Calamine lotion was invented in the 1800s by Dr. Eugene Snellen of Bruges, Belgium. While studying the health effects of zinc solutions on people, he discovered that they had a calming effect on his patients’ skin irritations. So he created a formulation with zinc oxide and ferric oxide as active ingredients. The first commercially available calamine lotion was marketed in 1924 under the name Calmurid by Thornton & Ross Ltd., a U.K.-based pharmaceutical company.
When you apply calamine lotion to your skin, the zinc oxide interacts with body moisture to create an insoluble barrier that soothes redness and itching from sunburns or poison ivy rashes. This barrier seals in moisture to keep your skin from becoming
Calamine lotion is a medication used to treat itching. This anti-itch medication comes in a pink liquid that dries to a white powder on your skin/rash. It is typically used to treat symptoms of poison ivy, chickenpox, and insect bites. Some people may also use it as a sunburn treatment. We’ll discuss how to use calamine lotion for sunburns below and why you shouldn’t use it for that purpose.
How to Use Calamine Lotion for Sunburns
Calamine lotion is safe for topical application for both children and adults. For treating sunburns, apply calamine lotion every four hours or as needed to relieve discomfort. You can apply this pink lotion directly from the bottle or with a cotton ball
Avoid Applying Calamine Lotion on Broken Skin
When using calamine lotion, avoid using it on open wounds or irritated skin. If the skin has blistered or peeled, skip the application until the area has healed.
Calamine lotion is a topical lotion with zinc oxide. Often marketed for its itch reducing properties, calamine has been used to treat many skin conditions, particularly sunburns. However, I am here to tell you that calamine is not the best way to treat sunburns.
Calamine is a type of antihistamine. It reduces itching by counteracting histamines. While this may sound great for sunburns, the problem is that histamines are only part of the equation. Histamines do not cause the pain and redness associated with sunburns; they only cause itching. Calamine does reduce itching, but there are better products that fight inflammation as well as itching.
If you want to reduce inflammation and burning, use aloe vera gels or creams that are made from plant extracts. My personal favorite is aloe vera from Lidtke which contains anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids in addition to the anti-inflammatory aloe vera plant extract. Aloe vera is also much safer than calamine as it is free of chemicals and preservatives such as zinc oxide and parabens. Aloe vera can be purchased at Whole Foods or online at www.lidtke.com