Pros: Easy to use, fast application, relieves itching and pain, highly convenient, washes out of clothes
Cons: Flakes/rubs off easily, but also hard to wash off skin
I started out this summer with a pretty nasty case of poison ivy. I didnt think it would be too severe, but by the third day, it had gotten pretty bad. I tried a variety of treatments but nothing seemed to work very well. I wanted to dry out the bumps caused by the poison ivy, but was tired of dabbing watery calamine on my hands and arms, so I went out and picked up some Calamine Spray by Band-Aid brand.
I had no problem finding this product in the first grocery store I tried. I got a 4 oz can for about $6.00. I have seen this plenty of places like drugstores and department stores.
Calamine 14.5%, Benzocaine 5.25%, Camphor .77%.
Also contains Benzyl Alcohol, Hydrated Silica, Isobutane, Isopropyl Alcohol 70% W/W (in concentrate), Oleyl Alcohol, Sorbitan Trioleate.
You are supposed to shake well before use, and not use more than 3 or 4 times per day. Pop off the lid and just press the pump to spray.
The first thing I like about this product, and the reason I bought it, was for good coverage. I had been dabbing on as much regular liquid calamine as I could with a cotton ball, and it wasnt going on well. I made a mess with calamine dripping everywhere and the calamine went on thin. With the spray, I was able to just spray a pretty even coat on my hand. The coverage is great because it saturates your skin pretty well. I had no problems getting it in spots like in between my fingers. It is easy to put on a light coat, which dries quickly, and then add more coats later.
Another thing I really like is the hands free application. Dabbing calamine liquid on with a cotton ball just further irritated my skin, and took forever. By days 3 and 4 my skin was so itchy and painful I didnt exactly feel like it was the best approach. With the calamine spray, I was able to mist my skin in just a few seconds and was done with the whole hassle.
As soon as the calamine goes on, I had some relief. This has some benzocaine in it which is a pain reliever. The spray feels cool and comforting right away.
The product claim is that it Dries the oozing and weeping of poison ivy, oak, and sumac. I always leave calamine on for extended periods of time (usually overnight, if I can), which seems to do a pretty good job. The calamine spray had great coverage and did a good job of drying the poison ivy rash.
One of the downsides to this product is that it can be messy. When you spray it on, you need to do it over something like a sink or shower. That way you can make sure that while youre getting the best coverage possible, you also dont make a mess on the floor or wherever.
The calamine spray also rubbed off a little on my clothes or whatever I came in contact with. I mostly noticed this on darker things (black t-shirt, for example). It definitely flakes off a lot easier than the regular liquid form. Of course, calamine washes right out of clothes, fabrics, etc., but if there is something you dont want to get the calamine on, you might want to avoid those surfaces (like a car or couch).
However ironically - another potential problem is that the calamine spray does not wash off easily. There was generally a hint of pink residue that was left behind. I had the most luck washing it off in the shower as opposed to over the sink.
After using this product, I really dont think I will ever use plain bottled liquid calamine again unless it is for a small spot treatment (for instance, with a Q-tip). The spray is so much faster and easier to use. The pain relieving ingredients work nicely and since they are likely to reduce the tendency to itch, it allows for faster recovery. The calamine spray not only alleviated the symptoms of my poison ivy, but also help speed up the healing process. Despite the fact it rubs/flakes off easily, it is still more convenient than the liquid form. I am definitely keeping this on hand for whatever needs might call for it.
I also recommend tecnu extreme poison ivy scrub.