Calamine Lotion For Acne: 6 Ways To Use, Side Effects & Precautions

Calamine Lotion For Acne

Calamine lotion is an over-the-counter medicine that can be used to treat skin conditions and itchy skin which is also known as pruritus. This medicine has an active ingredient (zinc oxide) that can provide antiseptic, astringent and pore tightening properties.

It also contains:

  • Calcium hydroxide
  • Purified water
  • Bentonite magma
  • Glycerin
  • Kaolin

These ingredients are found in most calamine lotion for acne although their quantity may differ from brand to brand. Calamine lotion is very essential that it was listed among the World Health Organization Model List of Essential Medicines in 2019. Acne is a skin condition that occurs when dead skin cells and excess oil, or sebum, accumulates inside pores, trapping bacteria deep in the skin (Medical News Today). The bacteria that is trapped cause pimples which is a skin inflammation.


Yes, it can. This is because the lotion contains properties that can help to reduce or treat acne, some of these properties are:

1. Anti Inflammatory Properties

For the World Health Organization to list calamine lotion under anti-inflammatory medicine in the list of essential drugs means that it really has the property. Calamine lotion for acne has anti-inflammatory, antipruritic or anti-itch properties that can be helpful to people with acne. 

2. Mild Antiseptic Properties

When a medicine has antiseptic, it can help pathogens and bacteria from growing as this is the function of the antiseptic properties. Calamine lotion is rich in these substance and they are also mild which means they stop the bacteria that causes acnes to grow without harming your skin.

3. Mild Astringent Properties

Astringent shrinks body tissues like pores and tighten them too. When the pores have been shrank, buildup of skin debris and excess sebum are prevented. This chemical, if harsh can irritate the skin and make it dry. Calamine lotion has mild astringent so it may not cause irritation in some skins but it is best to use it with a moisturizer.

Note: Calamine lotion for acne does not treat the cause of the acne, it only treat the breakouts and reduce how they appear on the skin. You have to treat the underlying cause if the acne before using the lotion to treat the symptoms. Calamine lotion also does not really treat non-inflammatory acnes like blackheads because it cannot unclog pores or encourage new skin cells to grow too. 


After treating acne, the next issue most people face is how to clear the post-acne scars and marks on their body. Well, calamine lotion can help with that. Naturally, the best way to get rid of the scars so to allow them fade off with time but if you really want to speed up the process, you can use the lotion. The ingredient called kaolin is effective in removing scars and dark spots and even toning your skin. Applying the lotion continuously can reduce acne marks and dark spots.


To use calamine lotion for acne, you should follow these steps.

  1. The affected area should be washed with soap and water, afterwards it should be dried thoroughly.
  2. Shake the calamine lotion bottle very well to thoroughly mix all the ingredients together.
  3. Pour the calamine lotion on a cotton pad or wool and apply directly on the skin. 
  4. Gently rub in the lotion.
  5. After that, you can wash your hands with soap and water.
  6. Repeat these step at least 4 times a day.

If the skin does not show signs of improvement, you should see your doctor.


Calamine Lotion For Acne
Calamine Lotion For Acne

Lacto Calamine lotion is a brand of calamine lotion for acne, in fact, Lacto Calamine is India’s No .1 calamine lotion. While calamine lotion active ingredient is zinc oxide, Lacto Calamine has kaolin as its active ingredient although it has other ingredients like zinc oxide, glycerine and castor oil.

Kaolin helps in treating sunburn and inflammation like acne, it also has soothing properties. Castor oil which is an antioxidant helps in promoting skin health, glycerine mositurizes the skin by relieving dryness and maintaining the skin moisture level. Zinc oxide fights inflammation and regulate how the body produces sebum, this helps to keep acne at a distance. 

Lacto Calamine can help in:

  • Soothing the skin during irritation and itching
  • Even toning the skin when mixed with tumeric
  • Providing hydration for dry skin
  • Treating acne inflammation
  • Detoxifying the skin due to the presence of kaolin


This lotion has many benefits like:

1. Relieving pain from bug bite: Bug bites and stings can cause reactions on the skin like pain and itching. Calamine lotion if rubbed on the affected area can help with the pain and itching, this lotion should be applied many times a day till the pain and itching has gone.

2. Shortening the severity of shingles: Shingles is an acute inflammation that can cause severe pain. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2019 suggested that applying calamine lotion and other measures like pain relievers, wet compressors can help reduce the effect of this virus or inflammation.

3. Relieving itching from poisonous plants: There are plants that when they come in contact with a human skin, they can cause itching, discomfort and in some irritation. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2021 listed out some poisonous plants like poison sumac, poison ivy and suggested that using calamine lotion on the area that touched the plant or its poison can help with the itching, irritation and pain.

4. Treating symptoms of scabies: Scabies is a skin disease that is caused by mite. When the skin is affected with this, there is severe itching. One way to reduce this itching is by applying calamine lotion. However, you should know that this lotion does not kill the mites that cause scabies, it only treats the symptoms like itching and pain.

5. Relieving pain from chicken pox: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2021 mentioned calamine lotion as one of the medicines that can help relieve the itching that comes with chicken pox and also prevent skin infections. The lotion is rubbed on the body after taking a cold bath with water mixed with baking soda or colloidal oatmeal.

6. Helping with swimmer’s itch: Swimmer’s itch is a rash that affects the body when you swim or enter into water that has certain parasites. These rashes can turn to infection if you scratch them. Calamine lotion is one of the medicines that is recommended to reduce the itching to avoid getting infections.

7. Relief for minor burns: Calamine lotion can be rubbed in areas that has been affected with minor burn to reduce irritation.

8. Providing relief for chigger bites: Chigger bites can cause itching, irritation and welts on the skin, these bites are gotten from mites that feed on human skin. Scratching these bites can cause infections, so to minimize how you scratch, calamine lotion is rubbed on the area.

Calamine Lotion For Acne


A study published by the National Library of Medicine in 2012 showed that calamine lotion for acne can be used even when pregnant. There is no evidence to show that it is harmful or not safe for pregnant women. It can also be used to relieve itching that comes with pregnancy. Nevertheless, you should see your doctor before using the lotion during pregnancy.


For children aged 2 and above, calamine lotion for acne can be used on their skin. It is safe to use in reducing itching, and other skin conditions that affect children. Some children have sensitive skin, so you may have to speak to a pediatrician before usage. Also for babies below 2 years, a doctor’s approval must be gotten before the lotion is used on them.


Common side effects of calamine lotion for acne is skin irritation like itching and red rash on the area it is applied. However, this rarely occurs. Allergic reactions may occur if persons who have calamine lotion allergy because of its properties. Common allergic reactions can be:

  1. Vomiting
  2. Swelling of the mouth, face, throat or tongue
  3. Diarrhea
  4. Fever
  5. Dizziness
  6. Fainting
  7. Rapid heartbeat
  8. abdominal pain and others


The calamine lotion for acne should never be used in the eyes, mouth or nose, they are meant only for the skin. If the lotion enters these body parts, you should wash off immediately with water and see a doctor if you start getting reactions. Calamine lotion should not be swallowed as it can cause vomiting, diarrhea. These symptoms can go away on their own, if they do not, see a doctor. 


Calamine lotion for acne is a medicine that the benefits cannot be overemphasized. It has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory properties that can help in treating many skin conditions. It can help in clearing acne and treating scars too. You should follow the steps to get positive results. Do not use the lotion in your mouth, ear, eyes or swallow it, if you do, you should see a doctor.

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