When choosing calamine lotion, read the label to be sure there are no added ingredients to which you may be sensitive or allergic. Although calamine lotion comes in a bottle, you might prefer a cream that comes in a tube. Tubes are more convenient for traveling or packing away in a purse. Alternately, you can make your own homemade calamine lotion using a few simple household ingredients.
If you're choosing calamine lotion or cream for a minor rash or itchy skin, you probably won't require additional ingredients. If your skin is very inflamed or peeling, however, choose calamine with an antihistamine. The antihistamine will reduce skin inflammation and swelling due to insect bites or poison ivy. Do not use topical antihistamines if you are allergic.
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For very dry, irritated skin, consider a calamine cream or lotion that contains natural aloe. The aloe will soothe and protect your skin from further damage and irritation. For best results, buy a lotion that contains pure or organic aloe. In addition to hydrating your skin, the aloe contains healing properties.
You should be able to purchase calamine products that contain extra lubricating ingredients for severely dry or sunburned skin. Mineral oil may be added to calamine for a moisturizing effect. Some calamine lotions also contain petroleum.
Most calamine contains camphor and alcohol, so keep this in mind if you have sensitivities to those ingredients. When using calamine, read the directions carefully and do not use the product longer than recommended. If symptoms recur or worsen, you should stop using the lotion and consult your physician. Calamine products also contain zinc oxide. This ingredient is known to be toxic when ingested. For this reason, always keep calamine out of the reach of small children and pets.
If you prefer calamine for bathing, you can make your own calamine soap. In addition to the calamine lotion, You'll need glycerine as a soap base, and vitamin E capsules to hydrate your skin. Add a few drops of essential oil for fragrance. After the ingredients are melted together, pour the mixture into a mold and allow it to cool.
You can also make substitute calamine creams with baking soda and oatmeal. You'll need enough waster to make a paste, and you may add other ingredients if you wish. Oatmeal is generally safe for all skin types and is a good choice if you do not have calamine on hand.