Uses for Calamine Lotion

Updated April 17, 2017

Calamine lotion is a multipurpose, multifunctional product with many viable uses. You can use it to treat insect and bug bites, and skin irritation from poison plants like poison ivy. However, it doesn't end there. It also helps to clear up acne pimples, prevent acne breakouts and protect your skin from sun damage. Two important ingredients in calamine lotion are calamine and zinc oxide. These active ingredients provide the skin with a plethora of benefits.

Poisonous Plants

Poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac contain chemical components that make it into your blood stream. Some people don't have an allergic reaction to poison ivy, while others do. Poison ivy contains urushiol, which binds to skin cells and compromises the immune system. Once your immune system discovers this foreign compound, it reacts by producing red blisters and an uncomfortable, itchy rash. MSN Health and Fitness reports that calamine lotion helps to ease the burning and uncomfortable sensations caused from poison ivy and other poisonous plants because it contains calamine, which helps control itch. It produces a cooling sensation on the skin and dries any oozing caused by skin irritation.

Sun Protection

Sunburn is a painful skin condition that occurs when people stay out in the sun without sun protection or sun block. According to, one benefit of zinc oxide, which is found in calamine lotion, is its ability to provide superior protection from the sun against different types of UVB and UVA radiation. One-way to provide the skin protection from the sun when sun block is unavailable is to use calamine lotion to prevent sunburn and damage to the skin caused from UVA rays and radiation.

Stings and Bites

Bites from mosquitoes, spiders, fleas, ticks and ants, and stings from wasps, bees and yellow jackets, cause mild to severe irritation in the skin when the venom makes its way into the epidermis. According to, the magnitude of irritation depends on how many times you are bitten or stung and how severe your allergies are to different types of insect venom. Calamine lotion helps soothe the skin irritation associated with the venom injected by bugs and insects. It prevents itching and scratching, which causes further skin irritation. Since it contains zinc oxide, it also helps with the healing of wounds caused from insect and bug bites.

Alternative Acne Treatment

Acne is a skin condition that produces red pimple-like pustules on the surface of the skin. Depending on the severity of the acne, it can take a toll on a person's physical and mental well being. Sometimes acne is so severe that it can become inflamed and painful. Health Guidance.Org suggests placing calamine lotion on a cotton ball and applying it to places on the face or body that are prone to acne breakouts. Calamine helps prevent the accumulation of oils in the skin responsible for acne breakouts. This is because calamine lotion works like an astringent, so it kills the bacteria that cause acne pimples. It also helps to soothe the inflammation associated with acne breakouts and pimples.

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About the Author

Victoria Ramirez has been writing professionally since 2009. She has a background in health and human services, and contributes her expertise to several online publications. Ramirez received her Bachelor of Arts in psychology from California State University, Bakersfield, where she graduated with honors in 2004.