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The excitement of expecting a child and celebrating every milestone that comes with it is a station of life that most women are often eager to experience. It comes with much indulgence, anticipation, and enthusiasm. However, few women are spared the numerous changes that the body must go through for this miracle to come alive. One of the changes that happen to an expectant mother is with her skin.
Hormonal variation causes skin elasticity to reduce, allowing depletion of skin moisture, while accommodating belly growth. This can cause the skin to flake, itch and become uncomfortably dry around the tummy area. Dry skin is also noticeable around the thighs, breasts, and arms. Mothers-to-be are always on the lookout for safe and simple options to appease their itchy and dry skin. Itchy skin can affect a quarter of all women who are pregnant.
Calamine lotion comes in as a saviour as it is widely used in relieving mild rashes and skin irritation. It is an inexpensive product and is easily available in most pharmacies or supermarkets. But if you are unsure of using it during pregnancy, read on!
Uses of Calamine Lotion during Pregnancy
Calamine lotion is a medication which predominantly consists of zinc oxide mixed with 0.5% ferric oxide. It is formulated through the addition of other elements like calcium hydroxide and phenol. Written records suggest that it had usage way back in 1500BC. Fascinatingly, the World Health Organization lists it on their ‘List of Essential Medicines’, as being safe and effective for health. Calamine lotion has no proven side effects during pregnancy.
Why Use Calamine Lotion while Pregnant
Calamine lotion is used topically to treat mild irritation created by sunburn, insect bites, and hormonal changes as with pregnancy. It doesn’t address the underlying skin condition but is effective in treating the itching. Some pregnant women feel that products with a robust fragrance, too, can irritate the itchy skin more. Calamine lotion which is mildly fragrant is not known to be an irritant during such times.
It makes for the perfect fix to the mildly itchy skin during pregnancy owing to two of its predominant properties:
1. Counter-Irritant and Astringent Effect
Calamine lotion is effective for providing relief from itching during pregnancy because post application of calamine lotion, the calamine evaporates, leaving a coolness that can soothe the itchy effect on the skin. It works the way astringents work on skin. This effect is also a reason why it is used on sunburns.
2. As an Antiseptic
Calamine lotion can prevent Infection and pregnancy rash caused by scratching. The presence of the active ingredient zinc oxide, having antiseptic properties, helps to avoid infection.
Things to Consider Before Applying Calamine Lotion
Although calamine lotion is considered safe for expectant mothers, it would be prudent to consider certain known risks before choosing to use it.
1. Allergic Reactions
Any cream or lotion should be applied on a smaller area of skin to check for adverse reactions. Once you do a patch test, you can safely apply the lotion if your skin has not reacted for some time after application. It is advisable to consult a doctor if you suspect that you may be allergic to any specific ingredient used in manufacturing the product. Reading the directions and the list of ingredients from the label would help get a better understanding of whether it contains any potential irritants.
2. Interaction with Food and Other Substances
It is considered judicious to speak to your doctor about applying calamine due to an intake of certain types of food. It is recommended that the calamine is applied well before or after mealtime to avoid any chance of unpleasant reactions. Tobacco and alcohol may also have an adverse interaction with calamine. It is best, as a known fact, to keep off smoking and alcohol during pregnancy anyway.
3. Interactions with Other Medication
Your doctor should be made aware of all prescribed medication or non-prescription drugs that you are taking when you plan on applying calamine lotion. Certain medicines cannot be used with calamine lotion. There are, however, other medicines with permissible interactions. Your doctor would be able to alter the dosage of such medicines as required.
How to Apply Calamine Lotion When Pregnant
Calamine lotion is intended for external use only. It should not be ingested at any cost as it can cause vomiting. Avoid contact with the mucous membrane, like the nose, eyes, mouth, genital, and anal areas. Follow the below-mentioned instructions before use:
- Shake the bottle sufficiently before using
- Apply the lotion on a pellet of cotton to moisten it
- Apply moistened cotton on itchy skin, spreading it leniently
- Let it dry on your skin. The calamine may leave a thin film on the skin after it dries.
Calamine lotion perhaps may not be a definitive cure for all skin ailments, but it definitely helps in relieving dry and itchy skin during pregnancy. Take precautions that its delicate pink colour does not stain your clothes and enjoy the hydration your skin receives after an application of calamine lotion.
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