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Sudocrem Antiseptic Healing Cream
Member Name: historywitch
Sudocrem Antiseptic Healing Cream
Advantages: Tub lasts a long time, very good on nappy rash
Disadvantages: Not strong enough for insect bites , initial outlay on a larger tub can be quite a lot.
There can be very few parents who are unaware of this product and very few nappy changing mats that don't have a tub of this standing next to it. Part of this is the fact that Sudocrem are very good at passing out free samples of their product e.g. via the free bags such as Bounty that are made available to pregnant women. Out of the whole Bounty bag I received in 2004 when I was pregnant with my first child, the small tub of Sudocrem has been the most enduring and it is still going strong with my second. In addition I have several tubs of varying sizes scattered around the house for those inevitable emergencies.
Sudocrem is a white, greasy antiseptic healing cream sold by most supermarkets, chemists and pharmacies. It comes in several different sizes - a 30g tube (£1.89 at Boots), a 60g pot (£1.69 at Chemists Direct), a 125g pot (£2.69 at Boots), 250g pot (£4.49 at Mothercare) and a 400g pot (£6.89 at Boots). Retailers seem to stock a small range of these sizes so if you are after a particular size its worth looking around.
According to the Sudocrem website it is water-repellent (explains the greasiness) which makes it an ideal barrier cream to protect a baby's (or elderly incontinent person) from the irritation of wee and poo on the skin. It helps heal any existing nappy rash as well. In addition it has antibacterial and antifungal properties due to the following ingredients (taken from sudocrem.co.uk)
hypoallergenic lanolin, to help provide emollient properties
zinc oxide is an astringent which reduces the loss of tissue fluid
benzyl benzoate and benzyl cinnamate are amongst the ingredients of Peru Balsam, recognised for its healing properties
benzyl alcohol is a weak local anaesthetic which acts to ease localised pain and irritation. It also acts as a disinfectant/antibacterial agent and is responsible for protection against common bacterial contaminants.
It is also supposed to have a light lavender fragrance, which to be honest I can't smell, it smells like waxy medication to me, but we have had our tub for over a year now so the smell might have dissipated somewhat.
Its healing properties make it good for babies but it can also be used for cuts, burns, sunburn, which is why I have several tubs on the go around the house. As an emollient cream it is also supposed to be good for eczema.
The first time I came into contact with Sudocrem was when I was working in a care home for the elderly. Every resident had a tub in their room and we were expected to apply it after every incontinence pad change. In addition it was used to treat bed sores and any cuts or grazes that the residents sustained. I was impressed by how quickly the cream worked to sooth irritation and redness and when I got my Bounty bag I was delighted to find a small tub of Sudocrem included.
I have been using Sudocrem consistently on both my children for the last five and a half years; nappy rash, cuts, grazes, sunburn and the occasional itchy rash and have never been disappointed with its performance. Admittedly neither of my children have ever got bad nappy rash so I cannot say how well it would perform under these conditions on children, but for mild to moderate redness and chafing it is superb. I have also used it on myself for burns, itchiness and cuts and again am very happy, although I would not recommend using it on fresh burns as I found it made the pain worse-aloe vera was the thing to use at first. In general though I rub a small amount on each sore spot and it takes some of the pain away very quickly and I believe it speeds up healing as well, by several days. The children refer to it as magic cream and while it is good, there is certainly a placebo response going on there too, as my daughter will stop crying much faster if I promise to put the magic cream on her cut.
As I mentioned above we have had our tub for a year, and there is still at least a third left. As you only need a tiny amount each time then Sudocrem works out as incredible value for money. The reason for the tiny amount is that you are only supposed to spread a thin layer over the surface of the skin, a dab suffices. The cream is very greasy however and can be hard to rub in over large areas. When my daughter had a mild eczema over her leg we tried Sudocrem and it left a greasy residue and white colour to her skin for a while, and I had to make her sleep in pyjamas so it didn't go all over the bed. Even rubbing as hard as I could didn't make it absorb properly so small amounts and small areas appear to be the order of the day.
Greasiness is also a problem in another area. After continued openings and reopenings the lid can become really quite loose. Left in the reach of a baby you will soon find everything in the vicinity covered in this greasy cream. Baby wipes will get it off most things but we have a couple of white patches on our carpet that just won't budge. Like most children mine have eaten their fair share of Sudocrem and you will be pleased to hear that whilst it isn't recommended neither is it particularly toxic and mild tummy upsets are all that follows in most cases....and a mummy who moves the Sudocrem to a less handy but safer shelf!
Another use for Sudocrem that I have found is for dry skin patches and hard skin on my feet. I slather it on my feet before I go to bed and put socks over the top. After a few nights the skin feels much softer and more flexible. If I have any patches of dry skin anywhere else on my body e.g. elbows, I usually reach for the Sudocrem first and it does a very good job of soothing the skin and removing the dryness.
If putting Sudocrem on an area that will be covered by a plaster you need to be careful. It doesn't spread well on fresh blood, neither will a plaster stick well onto skin covered with Sudocrem. It is very good for mild itches but it didn't offer long lasting relief for my insect bites or more severe eczema outbreaks. In both those cases I used a stronger over the counter cream as it only stopped the itchiness for an hour at most, where as other creams offer a much longer period of relief. But for milder conditions it is always the first solution I turn to.
Summary: Very useful household staple