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Not All Calamine Lotion is Cruelty-Free!

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Most of us have been covered in it from head to toe when chickenpox seemed to strike every 4-10 year old kid within a 12 mile radius from your home. Yes, we’re talking about that pinkish stuff called Calamine Lotion.  Although Calamine Lotion might make your kid look like an extra from Michael Jackson’s Thriller, it is considered the number one treatment for itchy skin resulting from chickenpox, poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac.

Calamine Lotion may also help treat bites and stings, sunburn, blisters and acne.  Made with active ingredients Calamine and Zinc Oxide, calamine lotion is also considered a skin protectant.  Inactive ingredients include Bentonite, Magma, Calcium Hydroxide, Glycerin and Purified Water.

The glycerin used in calamine lotion may or may not be derived from animal or vegetable sources.  So, for vegans and strict vegetarians, you must contact the manufacturer to find out if their product is vegan and vegetarian friendly.  These products do not contain this information on the label, including whether they are cruelty free (no animal testing).  Again, to find out if a specific brand of Calamine Lotion is cruelty-free and safe for vegans and vegetarians, you must contact the company which will be more than happy to send an ingredients list and provide information on manufacturing practices.

You can look for Calamine Lotion or products that work just as well at your local health food store or at Whole Foods.  Just a few alternatives to Calamine Lotion include witch hazel, zinc oxide, Burrow’s aluminum acetate, baking soda, oatmeal. Benadryl and Chlortrimeton.  Vinegar, green pea water (yes the water from cooked green peas), vitamin E oil, neem, tumeric, babool, patola, and vata.  Neem, tumeric, babool, patola and vata are Ayurvedic herbs.

How to Use Calamine Lotion and Safety Information by Drug Information Online (

Shake well before using.  Apply Calamine Lotion as often as necessary.  A soft, cotton cloth may be used for easy application.  Do not apply Calamine Lotion over large areas of the body. If you miss using a dose of Calamine Lotion for 1 or more days, there is no cause for concern.  If your doctor recommended that you use it, try to remember your dose every day.  Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Calamine Lotion.

Important safety information:

Calamine Lotion is for external use only. Avoid contact with the eyes and mucous membranes.

Contact your heath care provider if the condition worsens, if symptoms last for more than 7 days, or if symptoms clear up and then recur within a few days.

Ask a doctor before using Calamine Lotion on CHILDREN younger than 6 months of age.

PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant while using Calamine Lotion, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using Calamine Lotion during pregnancy. It is unknown if Calamine Lotion is excreted in breast milk after topical use.  If you are or will be breast-feeding while you are using Calamine Lotion, check with your doctor or pharmacist to discuss the risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of Calamine Lotion:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. When used in small doses, no COMMON side effects have been reported with this product.  Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue).

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur.  If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider.  Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at

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