Pros: no-frills ingredient list, higher than standard concentration of Zinc Oxide, sticks to skin
Cons: expensive, unappealing out of the tube, it feels silly buying Butt Paste
I could no longer ignore a product called Boudreaux's Butt Paste.
As an all-around uppity sort of person, I prefer my baby products to have names that reference either cutting-edge science or lavish pampering, and the name Butt Paste implies neither. While it did not appeal to me, it certainly got my attention. If the name and the eye-catching yellow packaging were not enough to make me aware of BBP's existence, Oprah featured it on her show. For a company that doesn't advertise, this is one of the most hyped preparations since Creme de la Mer. I am smarter than I look, so I don't buy diaper rash treatments based on the name, the packaging, or the endorsement of childless talk-show hosts. I wasn't moved to purchase this until I had tried almost every other cream on the market with mediocre results.
For the last four months, I feel like Her Royal Highness is constantly either afflicted with a terrible diaper rash, or healing from one. On the advice of her doctor, our first line of defense is thorough cleaning and drying at every diaper change. Since she has become so rash prone, we also need to use an ointment. After dismissing several brands ranging from low- to high-end, I tossed a tube of BBP into my shopping cart at Target and gave it a whirl.
Hmmm...brown and sticky
A warning to any readers who are childless or dealt with babies so long ago, they are no longer immune to graphic descriptions of adventures in diaper rash: you might find the following a little boring at best or completely nauseating at worst. Feel free to catch me next time.
This is one of the least pleasant ointments right out of the tube that I have tried. The color is pale brown, and while the thick paste coats the skin easily, it has a slightly sticky and chalky texture. While some people might find the smell pleasant, I don't. The odor is similar to Balmex, and has a medicinal overtone. When my husband changed her diaper for the first time after using BBP, he was thought she had the runs because of the brown discoloration all over her diaper and bottom.
If my child were a brand spanking newborn and the skin on her butt was silky and unblemished as a bowl of whipped cream, I would have stopped using this ointment after the first application. My choice would be something with a sweet smell, pure white color, and slippery with moisture - something like Desitin, which I used for most of her first year when diaper rashes were occasional and very mild. But now I have an active toddler prone to violent diaper rashes, and I have learned that sticky, chalky, and medicinal are all desirable attributes if you want the rash to heal. I found the texture encouraging, but didn't expect it to do much for this particular rash, which was a real horror show involving purple bumps and red lesions on top of the overall chafing. I coated the affected area with this cream and expected no miracles, but hoped for better results than what other brands provided.
When I changed HRH's diaper the next morning, I could have wept with gratitude. The redness had disappeared, the bumps had faded to discolored spots, and the blisters had shrunk. Within two days, the entire area was clear. BBP worked about five days faster than anything else we have tried. I am ready to buy the BBP bobble-head doll and a t-shirt to build a shrine by our changing station, I am such a zealous convert. As long as I use BBP at every diaper change, Her Royal Highness' skin is smooth and rosy as a baby's bottom should be.
Why should this succeed where others failed?
At first glance, the ingredients are very similar to any other Zinc Oxide and mineral oil based diaper ointment; however, at 16 percent Zinc Oxide, this contains more active ingredient than other creams. The standard is ten percent, and apparently that is not enough. This also contains Boric Acid, which some studies suggest has wound-healing benefits, as well as proven anti-microbial effects, and Castor Oil, which dries to a film and seals out moisture. What is also of interest is what this does not contain - there is no mention of superfluous emollients, silicons, fragrance, or any other ingredients added for aesthetic appeal. Because this cream is thick, sticky, and dries to a chalky and water-resistant film, the ingredients don't rub off when the baby moves or rinse off as soon as wetness is present, and it stays put well enough to actually help heal the rash.
I can tell this is a good ointment by the way water beads up on my skin when I wash my hands after a diaper change. It won't come off completely without soap, while most diaper creams will come off with a baby wipe. This means that it will really do its job keeping wetness away from the baby's skin, which helps prevent future rashes. When I change her diapers, the paste is always visible on her skin and doesn't come off completely until I wash it off in the bath.
I am a runner and usually wear Nike Frees, which are designed to be worn without socks. Sometimes I get some chafing on the tops of my feet and behind my heels, especially if I'm running outdoors or breaking in a new pair. Add that to other typical running complaints such as ingrown toenails and blisters, and I have some feet that are crying for attention. After reading that BBP can be used for all types of skin discomfort, I was inspired to spread a thin coat over my feet before running. The results of this experiment were so positive, I may buy BBP for the rest of my life. After the cream is applied, it creates a dry film that prevents my shoes from chafing, even after a long, sweaty run. Using it has soothed my ingrown toenails and alleviated many of the discomforts I considered the price I pay for being a runner. I'm not about to win any foot-modeling contracts, but I might wear flip-flops without frightening small children.
I wouldn't know anything about this because I am a delicate butterfly of a creature devoid of any impolite bodily functions, but I have a friend who has problems with hemorrhoids after the birth of her child. After applying this, I hear that she no longer has to sit on an inflatable donut when the condition is inflamed. Now I know firsthand - er, I mean, now I know because of rumors about my friend - how soothing this must be to a baby with a vicious rash.
Although this can be used anywhere you want a topical anti-irritant, keep in mind that it can stain your clothes. Mineral oil is one of those things that will leave a nice, permanent grease spot, and this stuff is brownish to boot. I haven't had any problems with it, but I have been careful to keep it away from clothes.
Gotta Love the Options
I appreciate the size and packaging options for BBP. It is available in a 16 ounce tub, which is the best value, but not everybody's favorite option. It also comes in a two ounce tube, which is a good size for a diaper bag or travel, and a seven ounce tube. The tubes are stiff and stand up easily on the cap, and most mothers will prefer to dispense the product this way for diaper rash to avoid polluting the unused cream with germs. Personally, I prefer to buy the tub. The cost per ounce is quite expensive in either size tube, but in the tub it becomes as affordable as any other diaper rash cream. A rule of thumb with all diaper rash treatments is that the more you use, the better it works, so I don't hesitate to dig out a nice sized dollop and never double dip. When a cream is expensive, it is tempting to skimp on the application, so I think it is best to go with the most product for your money.
I recommend this wholeheartedly because it is the only product that offered real relief from my daughter's stubborn rashes. I can't promise it will work as well for everyone. Our pediatrician swore by A&D, and that did nothing for my daughter, so obviously even good products won't work for every baby or every rash. However, many creams on the market are nothing but placebos full of junk ingredients and fillers, and this product is not one of them. For that reason, it is worth getting past the funny name, unpleasant appearance, weird smell, and strange consistency to find out if this is the answer for your diaper rash problems.