As it becomes increasingly difficult to sift through the myriad of skin care products on the market today, it is no surprise that acne sufferers are looking at unconventional acne treatments. One of these treatments include Campho-Phenique. This is a US-made treatment for a variety of skin conditions that is available over the counter. While it is not directly targeted for acne sufferers, some have been using it to seek its benefits.
What is Campho-Phenique?
Campho-Phenique is a type of anesthetic that is available over the counter and online.
It comes in a cream or gel form and is meant to target certain skin conditions such as cold sores or bites from insects.
It also treats rashes and other types of inflammation that may be caused by poison ivy or other types of skin-irritating plants.
It contains a few ingredients that help you aid the skin. This includes pramoxine. This is a type of local anesthetic that can be topically applied. It can temporarily relieve pain caused by these skin conditions.
It also prevents itching and provides a comforting and soothing sensation to the skin. It’s not meant to be used on broken skin or any types of cuts or scrapes.
This product may also contain other ingredients such as zinc oxide and calamine. These are meant to be skin protectants and are coupled with the local anesthetic to prevent itching and to soothe red and inflamed skin.
While this product is meant to treat cold sores and other types of skin irritations, many have used this to treat acne as this also manifests itself as red and irritated skin.
Characteristics of Acne
It is important to be aware of the different types of characteristics of acne in order to analyze whether Campho-Phenique provides any benefits to the skin when applied topically.
Acne is caused by a number of factors that differ based on the person. These include hormonal fluctuations, changes in metabolism and food intolerances as well as issues with the types of products being applied to the skin.
At the surface level, acne is caused by clogged hair follicles. This occurs when dead skin cells mix with sebum and oils to clog the pore.
This creates an ideal environment for acne bacteria to grow and eventually cause the formation of a bump. This is characterized by redness and inflammation. It becomes an infection where the white blood cells rush to the area to clear it out. This is the whitehead that you often see on the tip of acne bumps.
At its core, acne is caused by inflammation on the surface of the skin.
This can be triggered by both internal (diet and hormones) and external (products and abrasive fabrics/towels) factors.
Anything that helps to relieve redness irritation, and unclogs the pores, will help the look and feel of acne on the skin.
How Campho-Phenique May Help Acne
As mentioned above, anything that can reduce the inflammation of the skin can help the look of acne.
Some of the ingredients in Campho-Phenique can aid in reducing the symptoms of acne.
These include skin protectants such as calamine and zinc oxide. Both of these can be topically applied and are meant to target and reduce redness of the skin.
The main ingredient of calamine lotion is actually zinc oxide. It is a very safe ingredient that is anti-inflammatory and has been shown to aid in healing multiple types of skin conditions.
From the Journal of Dermatology of Research and Practice, one study showed the clearance of warts in 80% of patients applying zinc oxide to the lesions.
In other studies, topical application of zinc oxide led to a decrease in erythema, which is also known as redness, as well as a decrease in itching.
In terms of calamine lotion, this lotion also contains additional ingredients such as bentonite. This is a type of clay that when applied to the skin, can actually absorb skin oils.
This can be particularly enticing for acne sufferers as it can dry out the pimples and help them to heal faster. It also has soothing skin properties.
Acne Treatment Options
Any ingredients that work to alleviate the symptoms of red and inflamed acne can aid in improving the skin barrier, soothing the skin, decreasing inflammation, and ultimately healing the acne. Ingredients that have known properties such as anti-itch, pain-relieving, antiseptic, and skin protectants can help those suffering from this skin condition. Campho-Phenique includes these ingredients, and this can be paired with other skin-soothing ingredients to heal the skin further.