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I tried this problem due to problems I'd had with its main rival - Bonjela. I have found it difficult to get Bonjela off my finger and to stay on the ulcer - I usually end up swallowing most of it or with it still left on my index finger.
Iglu, when applied to the ulcer, is supposed to form a seal around the area to protect it and sooth the problem. It seems to start solidifying when it makes contact with liquid e.g. saliva.
The product does as it promises however I feel a little practice is required with the application. Use dry hands to apply it or it will start to solidify before you've had time to apply to the affected area. Wipe as quickly onto the ulcer and there isn't much room for error. However, compared to Bonjela, this is a breeze.
I applied this to the tip of my tongue recently and it did help with the pain caused by the ulcer, however the seal isn't the sort of thing you can apply and forget about. I was constantly aware of it. A pleasing alternative to other products but I find Corsodyl or other medicated mouthwashes are better at treating the ulcer.
The first time I came across and started buying products like this was when I got my orthodontic braces put on. The lumps of metal in my mouth meant that the insides of my cheek were always irritated and seemed to attract ulcers and on top of that, the normal problem of the wire sticking out the back as the process goes on meant that it was digging into the back of my mouth.
The unusually colored turquoise packaging stands out and is easily identifiable. The contents are the tube of gel and an instruction leaflet. On the front it is advertised that the product is 'clinically proven' and the claims made are that it 'forms a long lasting adhesive protection', 'relieves pain and fights infection' and 'speeds up healing'. It is also said to be specific to ulcers, but as mentioned previously I used it on other occasions and it worked fine.
Most medicines have a leaflet that, on the whole, tells you stuff you already know and this is much the same. The one thing I would point out is that it warns you that applying excessive amounts may cause numbness and this is something I can confirm. My sister used this once and unknowingly used a lot of it at once on an ulcer close to her lip which resulted in temporary numbness and she couldn't drink/eat properly for a while.
Application of the gel is pretty standard, you are recommended to use a clean finger and then just rub it over the affected area. One minor problem; when applying it, you will be left with a lot of it stuck to you fingers which I find very difficult to get off. In the mouth this will feel rough and irritating at first, but I find that if I rinse with some water immediately after putting it on, it smooths out instantly and is barely noticeable and as soon as you stop poking it with your tongue every 5 seconds it fades into the background. The taste is slightly mint with a hint of medicine, but again this fades into the background very quickly. The gel does seem to stand the test of time fairly well, although as soon as you start eating it will wear of rapidly.
You can feel the pain subsiding after a minute or so and it really does fight infections. I had a minor infection from one of the cuts from my braces which I noticed on Friday evening so no doctors were available. I just put this on for the weekend and it was pretty much gone by Monday and it barely hurt the whole time. I have to admit that although it is said to be for ulcers, it seems, in my experience, to work considerably better for other mouth related problems. That's not to say it doesn't work well for ulcers - it does, they heal much faster than normal and never hurt. One extra use I have found for it is to use it on your tongue when you bite it or something sharp prick is. Admittedly it doesn't taste very nice when applied directly on your tongue but it is very refreshing to be relieved from the pain so this is a very versatile 'ulcer gel'.
The one major downside to this product is the price. It is £5.85 for an 8g tube. Although it does last a while because you only need to apply small amounts, the price is still very high when compared to similar brands such as Bonjela which is £2.00 for 15g. I don't find other brands as effective but in terms of value for money they may be considered a better option.
I headed back to the UK for Christmas with my family after another stressful semester in France. Due to the high stress levels towards the end of the semester and my love of clementines and oranges, I found myself Home Sweet Home, but with a huge and painful mouth ulcer on the left hand side inside my bottom lip. Ouch! I could feel the pain if I even touched my lips from the outside. Having had many ulcers due to my love of citrus fruit, this was by far the worst, over Christmas aswell? Not cool. My mam bought me some of this Iglu stuff the next day. I had never tried this brand before, having usually gone for the somewhat useless Bonjela, but I was willing to give anything a try.
It costs around £6 from boots and Chemists, more than double the average price of Bonjela but a lot more effective!!
It comes in a dark blue-purple 8g box, which when opened leaves you with a white tube with a dark blue lid.
Taste, texture and effectiveness
Having read other reviews of this product, some people claimed that there was a minty taste but given the location of my mouth ulcer, I never tasted anything. The texture was much thicker than I had expected (I was pleasantly surprised), and it was somewhat grainy. This specially formulated texture definitely worked in its favour; once applied to my mouth ulcer, it actually stayed put and formed a shield/igloo over the ulcer, meaning that I could eat and drink without discomfort - a very important thing over the festive period! It had much better staying power than any other mouth ulcer gel that I have tried and it took about a week to clear my mouth ulcer completely. That might seem like a long time, but this was a seriously huge mouth ulcer. I had another one whilst I was home, a regular sized one, that cleared up after 2 - 3 days maximum, but it took the pain out almost immediately. By far the most effective treatment I have ever used and definitely worth the price.
Not long ago I was out for the count for about a week suffering from a mouth ulcer and tonsilitis simultaneously. This was very depressing as I could not eat due to both factors and I was STARVING! After finally succumbing and going to the doctors for anti-biotics he was unable to advise me on anything for my ulcer which just happened to be on the tip of my tongue (of all places!)
I went to the dentist after my tonsilitis had eased and I felt ready to eat again, and he advised me to pop to boots and buy iglu. I had long seen this product advertised on TV but to be quite honest, I had no idea what it was! It comes in a small tube white tube with a blue lid, and is quite pricey (at the time I think I paid around £6 in boots, may be cheaper in superdrug or supermarkets) but it does the job 100%. It comes out in a clear gel, which I put on my finger and then onto the affected area. Within seconds it solidifies covering the entire ulcer, and stays in one place, meaning the ulcer no longer comes into contact with bacteria (or anything else in the mouth) and so does not sting. I can finally eat! hoorah!
The label states it has strong adhesive properties and it sure does! It stayed put, without re-application almost all day, and I found after battling alone for so long within 2-3 days the ulcer had healed completely. I don't think I even used half the tube! So at that value alone I would definitely recommend it to everyone and anyone! (age restrictions apply, I don't think it is for children, and all should check the ingredients in case they suffer any adverse reactions.)
I'm lucky enough that I don't tend to get mouth ulcers very often. However, a couple of months ago I had a bit too much on at work and I was generally pretty run down. Cue the arrival of a sinus infection, gingivitis, a salivary gland infection (which made my jaw swell out to the size of a tennis ball. It was a most attractive look) and 5 mouth ulcers.
I'm not much of a fan of Bonjela: my dentist recommended it when I had a wisdom tooth coming through and I found its effects paled into insignificance when compared to the anaesthetic properties of a couple of glasses of whisky. I don't really like the taste of aniseed either, which meant that applying it was unpleasant. Lastly, I resent paying a few quid for something that has all the viscosity of water and so is swallowed almost immediately.
However, the mouth ulcers were astonishingly painful so I pottered off to Tesco in search of something to fix me (Chris Martin of Coldplay, don't be getting any ideas). I returned with a tube of Iglu mouth ulcer treatment.
As with most of these kinds of things, it comes in a small plastic tube with a pointless cardboard package around it. It's a bit smaller than a tube of Bonjela and certainly dinky enough to fit in a pocket or handbag. For reasons known only to themselves the manufacturers have placed an umlaut over the u, so it looks like a little smiley face. Some people tried that tactic on The Apprentice recently and Mister Alan Ray Winstone Sugar was none too impressed. ('Wanted it to look like a little face did you? You slaaaaag!')
The tube itself has a slanted applicator tip, a little bit like lip gloss, so the gel can be applied straight to the ulcer or with the tip of your finger.
Well, you won't be buying tubes of it to keep you going as a snack between meals, put it that way. It's not horrible, but it's not particularly pleasant, either. Vaguely minty, with medicinal undertones I suppose.
This, for me, is where it has the edge. Whereas Bonjela is licked off and swallowed within a matter or minutes, this is a very thick paste that has quite a solid, grainy consistency. Once applied, it sticks to the inside of the mouth like glue and stays put for at least an hour or so. This might be quite off-putting for some people as it feels glutinous in the mouth but it's never particularly bothered me.
Like Bonjela, this is applied with a clean fingertip. Once applied, though, you tend to get quite a bit of sticky residue on the tip of your finger. It's easily removed with a wet wipe or by washing your hands but is something to bear in mind if you don't have access to either.
I much preferred this to Bonjela. Once the paste was applied, it stayed put for quite a while, even when eating and drinking. It meant I was able to eat food normally, rather than wincing with every second bite. The fact that it formed a protective seal over the ulcer seemed to help it to heal faster and by the next day all five ulcers had reduced in size considerably. After two days, they were still there but no longer painful unless I poked at them and by the third day they'd completely gone.
In terms of pain relief, this is on a par with Bonjela: the pain won't disappear immediately and the numbing sensation isn't extreme or instantaneous. For that you'd be better dabbing on a bit of clove oil.
Mine cost just under a fiver for an 8g tube which is a lot more expensive than Bonjela. That said, I find it's much more effective for me than any other treatment I've tried. If you suffer from frequent outbreaks of mouth ulcers, though, it might be prohibitively expensive.
Having suffered horribly from mouth ulcers for some time, I have tried all kinds of over-the-counter gels and pastes to try and get some relief. I usually find them either too sticky/gungy, so that my cheek sticks to my gum uncomfortably, or that they will wash away in a couple of minutes. And when you have several huge ulcers at one time, things like Bonjela just won't cut it.
Having run out of the only product which worked for me, unfortunately purchased in America, I bought Iglu gel, having seen it advertised and figuring it couldn't be as bad as the other alternatives I had some left of.
Despite being rather more expensive than I'd have liked, at about £6 for an 8g tube, at first things looked good. The tube had a slanted tip with a hole, rather like a lip gloss, and I thought this would help me apply it accurately to my mouth straight from the tube.
Unfortunately I soon realised that "gel" doesn't always mean gel. In fact, at first I thought I had a faulty tube and was all for taking it back until I noticed some small print. Apparently this gel is a paste until it comes in contact with your saliva, when it turns into a gel. Uh, okay.
So applying direct to the mouth was out, as you have to huff and puff with the tube to get a little onto your finger. Then when I tried to apply it to my mouth, it wouldn't come OFF my finger. At all. The instructions casually told me to "apply a thin layer" (of GEL), so it had to be possible. Eventually I realised that if I licked the paste, it would start the transformation into gel enough that I could get it off my finger. Not the slickest of applications, I'll grant you. It's impossible to even feel it on the ulcer, which means although I know it went SOMEWHERE off my finger, I'm never sure if I applied accurately or evenly, in a thin layer. And it's definitely impossible to tell unless the ulcer is somewhere clearly visible such as the lower lip, if it does turn into gel as claimed.
I found this all really quite strange to be honest, and I was quite cross at wasted money the first few times I applied this. Then I realised something - I actually had got a bit of pain relief from it! And then I realised something else, it didn't have the awful, overpowering mint flavour of some other concotions I've tried. In fact, it didn't taste of anything. In fact, it wasn't sticking my mouth together or doing anything obnoxious. Maybe there's something to this paste to gel hoopla after all?!
I applied this a few times and did get some pain relief. I did like how it covered my ulcers and protected them, and it clung very well to the tissues of my mouth meaning it lasted far better when eating or drinking then other gels I've tried. For this, I'd say it's worth a little faffing around with the strange formula at first once you get the hang of application.
When I used this I had a mouthful of ulcers, as usual. I now don't have any. HOWEVER, as I wrote in my Sensodyne Pronamel review, I was also following advice I'd read online which stated that toothpastes containing Sodium Lauryl Sulfate could trigger more ulcers. I switched my toothpaste at the same time and since have had no ulcers, in over two weeks, which is unheard of for me. For this reason, I don't want to say the gel healed my ulcers at all, but it definitely stopped them getting irritated while the new toothpaste did the rest.
If you suffer from ulcers, I'd recommend first switching your toothpaste to see if you get any relief (which for me was almost immediate), before spending so much on a gel. However, if they persist, you can do much worse than Iglu.