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November 3, 1945

CALAMINE AND ZINC OXIDE

JAMA. 1945;129(10):707. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860440055022

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Abstract

To the Editor:—  Capt. Paul A. Newton continues an ancient error in his communication on vesicopustular eczema (The Journal, September 8, p. 150). Referring to treatment, he mentions calamine lotion being used on the body surfaces and zinc oxide applied to the lesions of the axillas.Calamine is zinc oxide plus some iron rust. Calamine has no virtues over zinc oxide, and many disadvantages. It would be best if calamine were removed from professional medicine. Neocalamine is a slight improvement in color but is still essentially zinc oxide. The rationale of application of zinc oxide to the human integument is the same as its rationale in utilization in wall paint—to cover.Zinc oxide may be safely substituted for its colored form calamine or neocalamine in all formulas for the skin.

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