Calamine

In our last post on chiggers, we discovered that Mr. Family Trivium has been using a course of calamine to treat the itch caused by bites from these creatures.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines calamine as “a mixture of zinc oxide with a small amount of ferric oxide used in lotions, liniments, and ointments.” The Online Etymology Dictionary, indicates that the word originated in the 1590s, from French “calamine”, Thirteenth Century Old French “calemine” or “chalemine,” Medieval Latin “calamina” which it thought to be a corrupted form of “cadmia” (zinc ore) or “calamus” (reed) in reference to the shape of the mineral.

WebMD suggests that calamine can be used for pain/itching/discomfort caused by contact with poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac. As children, Mr. and Mrs. Family Trivium also remember calamine being used on bug bites and chicken pox. Mr. Family Trivium has been having good results using it on his chigger bites.

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