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Calamine Lotion for Acne: Kiss Your Papules and Pustules Goodbye

Calamine Lotion for Acne: Kiss Your Papules and Pustules Goodbye

Puberty is a desirable thing until you have severe acne problems on your hands. Good riddance to bad rubbish doesn’t even nearly cut this one.

Not one treatment method proffered to date assures 100% results in the desired time frame. And this battle has been on for over many years.

Calamine lotion for acne removal has been resourceful in the fight. How?

Acne – What about it?

Acne is a skin disease where excess oil and dead skin cells clog up hair follicles. Statistically, a whopping 50 million Americans are affected yearly with acne making it the number one skin problem.

A wide range of factors causes acne. These include hormonal changes during puberty, stress, bad cosmetics, and genetics. Of these risk factors, hormonal imbalances due to puberty rank most significant.

Types of Acne

As much as acne is one skin condition, it can present itself in several ways. Generally, acne can either be non-inflammatory or inflammatory. Nobody desires acne. If it were possible yet, to choose the lesser of two evils, nobody would choose the inflammatory kind.

On this premise, the major types of acne are classified below.

  • Blackheads and whiteheads

These are the two kinds of non-inflammatory acne and are the most popular around. Hair follicles here are clogged with hair and dead cells. They are thus the working definition of typical acne. Blackheads arise from acne with an open surface. Whiteheads are from acne with a closed surface at the top. Both these conditions are milder and are thus easier to treat.

  • Papules and pustules

These are examples of inflammatory acne. They have moderate intensity. They occur when the skin pores break down totally. It is, thus, easier to accumulate oil and hairs into the spaces they form. The only major difference between papules and pustules is their size. While papules are smaller, pustules are bigger. Pustules also contain pus and have white or yellow heads atop.

These are more severe than the non-inflammatory types. This is because they harden upon clogging up and could be tender (painful) to touch.

  • Nodules and Cysts

These are the most dreaded forms of acne to have. They are severe, and of course, highly inflammatory. Nodules occur upon further irritation of already swollen and clogged pores. They go deeper into the skin than other acne types. Cysts, meanwhile, arise when bacteria are added into the mix, with oil and dead skin. Both of these are extremely painful, and appear red on sight.

No form of home management is suitable. There’s a need to visit a dermatologist for more advanced treatment procedures.

What is Calamine lotion?

This lotion is a pink OTC (over-the-counter) medication. It is majorly used to treat mild itches on the skin. Like other topical medications, it is directly applied to the patch of skin with problems.

Perhaps, your memory of calamine lotion was the one you used when you had chickenpox at a younger age. You’d rub it all over your body and be as white as snow.

Calamine lotion for acne has proved as an effective treatment method over the years. Find out why as you continue reading.

Active Components

Calamine is made up of zinc oxide as its major ingredient and 0.5% of iron oxide. Zinc oxide has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and pore-tightening properties. It is what makes this acne lotion a good idea.

The iron oxide its characteristic pink color. Other ingredients include glycerin, bentonite magma, calcium hydroxide, and purified water.

Why can this lotion work for acne?

The properties of calamine lotion for acne treatment hinge on the properties of zinc oxide. They are:

  • Anti-inflammatory and antipruritic

This is one of its primary functions, as recognized by WHO. Its anti-inflammatory functions make it suitable for treating inflammatory acne-like papules. Once applied on the skin, it produces a cooling effect after it must have dried. This cooling effect relieved itching, hence its antipruritic functions.

  • Mild antiseptic properties

Antiseptics hinder the growth and entry of pathogens into the body. The relevant pathogens involved in acne development are bacteria. In essence, calamine lotion has some antibacterial properties. Know that this is only a widespread belief. No particular research has been carried out to confirm this claim yet.

  • Astringent properties

Astringents are substances that tighten body tissues, like pores. This way, they cleanse and dry out the excess oils on the skin. With a smaller, tightened pore, there is no space for the accumulation of dead skin cells.

Cons of Calamine lotion for acne removal

  • The American Academy of Dermatologists advises strongly against using astringent for acne treatment. They make the skin drier; dry skin is bad news for acne since it increases irritation. This usually occurs as a red skin rash on application sites.
  • It has been noticed over the years that calamine lotion triggers a cascade of severe allergic reactions in different people. These reactions could be as mild as rashes, or as life-threatening as dyspnea (breathing difficulty). Some other more common allergic reactions include difficulty in swallowing, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever, to name a few.
  • This lotion can stain clothing.

How to use calamine lotion for acne removal

Follow these directions for use as strictly as humanly possible.

  1. Wash the relevant area(s) of the skin with soap and water. Dry with a dry towel.
  2. As you would a fruit juice before consumption, shake the calamine lotion bottle. This is to mix the ingredients.
  3. Pour the lotion on a piece of cotton wool. Rub the soaked wool gently on the skin.
  4. Thoroughly wash hands with soap and water.
  5. Repeat the procedure three to four times daily.

With proper use, you should notice significant differences after only one week. Failure to observe changes demands a visit to your dermatologist.


  1. Avoid direct application on the skin
  2. Limit the use of calamine lotion to the skin. Rinse off immediately upon contact with other sense organs.
  3. Keep clothing off the area of skin where the lotion was applied.
  4. Given the barrage of allergies, it could cause, do not use calamine lotion for acne removal without a doctor’s prescription.
  5. Do not ingest.

More common treatment methods for acne

Acne treatment works on the basic principle of removing dead skin, reducing excess oil, and fighting bacteria. The following are very common ways:

  • Retinoids
  • Antibiotics
  • Salicyclic acid
  • Steroid injections
  • Chemical peels
  • Combined oral contraceptives (for women)

Other skin conditions to use calamine lotion for

As earlier mentioned, this product is majorly an antipruritic and anti-inflammatory medication. Hence, it can be used for any skin condition that causes itching. Some of these include:

  • Chickenpox
  • Measles
  • Eczema
  • Sunburn
  • Poison ivy


The battle against acne and its effects rage on.

Hopefully, sometime soon, there will be one product that efficiently treats acne in all patients, despite varied skin types. Then, maybe puberty will be something to truly look forward to.

Nonetheless, calamine lotion for acne removal is one solution, and it’s better than no solution at all.

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