Bag Balm Safe Alternatives for Diaper Rash, Babies & Breasts

Bag Balm Safe Alternatives for Diaper Rash, Babies & Breasts

Why Bag Balm should not be used on Babies, Diaper Rash, or Breastfeeding Nipples

Bag Balm was originally created over a 100 years ago as an “udder balm” to treat skin issues on cow udders. It has grown in popularity over time, not only with farmers but also with the general population. 

Bag Balm

What are the uses for Bag Balm? There are many uses for Bag Balm. On one parenting website there were 20 individual uses for Bag Balm. 


But the million-dollar question is... 

Is Bag Balm safe for babies, diaper rash and breastfeeding nipples?


EatThis, NotThat! published an article in April of 2022 Listing 6 of the Most Dangerous Food Ingredients That Have Been Banned in the U.S.  One of those ingredients is 8-Hydroxyquinoline Sulfate. 


The Bag Balm Website states Bag Balm ingredients are petrolatum, lanolin, paraffin wax, water, and 8-Hydroxyquinoline Sulfate (0.3%). On their FAQ, Bag Balm specifically states they recommend that you check with your pediatrician before using Bag Balm on diaper rash.


What is 8-Hydroxyquinoline Sulfate? 

The American Chemical Society states 8-Hydroxyquinoline sulfate is a metal chelating agent extracted from coal tar. It has been used in a wide variety of products, from “bag balm” for cows to cosmetics and drugs, for its ability to inhibit the growth of imidazolidinylurea microbes.

 

The National Institutes of Health has determined Bag Balm is toxic if swallowed.

Hazards information at the National Institutes of Health gives the 8-Hydroxyquinoline Sulfate compound a 

  • Danger rating that it is toxic if swallowed, 
  • Warning rating that it may cause an allergic skin reaction,
  • Danger rating that it can cause serious eye damage, 
  • Danger warning that it may damage an unborn child.

Does using Bag Balm on breastfeeding nipples where the child will ingest the compound multiple times a day for months sound safe? Using any compound on a baby's skin that could accidentally get in their eyes or in their mouths does not seem like the best solution.


Are there any other ingredients in Bag Balm that are a concern for breastfeeding mothers or for use on diaper rash?


YES! - Lanolin . . . 


Although Lanolin is well known and most parents believe it is safe, according to  dermreview an allergic reaction can be caused when lanolin enters the bloodstream, and the incidence of lanolin allergies is increasing. Mount Sinai states lanolin is a poisonous ingredient and can be harmful if swallowed. 


The biggest concern with lanolin and 8-hydroxyquinoline sulfate is the extended ongoing daily exposure of the baby when it is used on breastfeeding nipples and the frequent exposure when it is used to treat, or prevent, diaper rash. 


Are there better alternatives?


Yes!

The best alternative for diaper rashes is not getting them in the first place! 

Keeping booty’s clean and dry is always the first line of defense for diaper rashes. 

When faced with a diaper rash, or when trying to prevent diaper rashes, and avoid lanolin and 8-Hydroxyquinoline sulfate, the organic ingredients in the Green Forest Lady’s Baby Booty Balm may be what you are looking for - Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Beeswax, Chickweed, Shea Butter, Calendula Flowers, Nettle Leaf, Yarrow Flowers, Arrowroot Powder, Raspberry Seed Oil, Vitamin E, Calendula Extract, Myrrh Oil, and Lavender Oil.

Baby Booty Balm

 

What is a safe alternative to use on sore, cracked, breastfeeding nipples?

Air drying nipples after each feeding can help prevent problems. Letting some milk dry on the nipples can also be helpful.  Do not use a hair dryer or try to artificially help the nipples dry faster. Rubbing them with a towel or using a hair dryer can make the problem worse. 

A lanolin and 8-Hydroxyquinoline sulfate free Nipple Balm can help. The Green Forest Lady Nipple Balm is made with organic Olive Oil, Cocoa Seed Butter, Calendula Flowers, Marshmallow Root, and Beeswax.

Nipple Balm


Parents are on a mission to keep their children safe. Sometimes, the most basic of items, like skin ointments, can have dangerous ingredients hiding within them. Perhaps the old saying is true... if you wouldn’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin.

For a safe alternative to Bag Balm see here. 

 

Bag Balm® is a product that was originally created by a pharmacist to treat cow udders in Vermont in 1899. It was very effective and word spread making it the go-to treatment for cracked and chaffed cow udders. Apparently it worked so well as a lubricant that WWII soldiers used it to keep their rifles in working order.

The pronunciation of Bomb and Balm is almost identical for most people. “Bag Balm®” and “Bag Bomb” identifies the same product although the usual meanings of “balm” and “bomb” are quite different.

According to their web site, the ingredients in Bag Balm® are: petrolatum, lanolin, paraffin wax, water, and 8-Hydroxyquinoline Sulfate (0.3%).
• Petrolatum is another name for petroleum jelly which is derived from petroleum, also called crude oil.
Petroleum is what is used to make kerosene and gasoline.

Per Healthline using petroleum jelly is not without risks and potential side effects. Some people can develop allergies to petroleum products, and some people may break out when using petroleum jelly due to clogged pores. Healthline also mentions the risk of fungal and bacterial infections.
• Lanolin, according to dermreview, can cause allergic reactions when lanolin enters the bloodstream. Mount Sinai states lanolin is a poisonous ingredient and can be harmful if swallowed. Breastfeeding and baby hands that transfer the product from the skin to their mouths both result in the baby swallowing the bag balm product. Because this will occur thousands of times over the period that the child will be breastfed or wear diapers, the risk will significantly increase.
• Paraffin wax comes from petroleum, coal or shale. According to dermatologist Michael Shapiro it does not actually properly hydrate and repair skin. He also shares that paraffin is known to clog pores and can be harmful if swallowed because of the fact that it does not break down easily
• 8-Hydroxyquinoline Sulfate: see description above.

Four of the Five ingredients in Bag Balm® are a concern if used on babies or nursing nipples.

Babies put everything in their mouths and it’s highly likely that whatever is used on their skin will be ingested.

The 8-Hydroxyquinoline Sulfate in Bag Balm® has been banned as a food ingredient and been given a Danger rating if swallowed by the NIH (National Institutes of Health). Babies can also transfer products from their skin to their eyes. The 8-Hydroxyquinoline Sulfate in Bag Balm® has been given a Danger rating from the NIH because it can cause serious eye damage. The 8-Hydroxyquinoline Sulfate in Bag Balm® can also cause an allergic skin reaction and has been given a Warning rating by the NIH because of this.

The NIH (National Institutes of Health) has given the 8-Hydroxyquinoline Sulfate in Bag Balm® a Danger rating if swallowed or if it comes in contact with the eyes because of its toxicity and risk of causing serious eye damage. The NIH has also given 8-Hydroxyquinoline Sulfate a warning rating as it can cause an allergic reaction. This allergic reaction can occur in the Mother or child. 8-Hydroxyquinoline Sulfate can damage the unborn child, it has been given a Danger rating by the NIH regarding this risk.

Due to these concerns Bag Balm should not be used as a nipple balm.

The NIH (National Institutes of Health) has given the 8-Hydroxyquinoline Sulfate in Bag Balm® a Danger rating if swallowed or if it comes in contact with the eyes because of its toxicity and risk of causing serious eye damage. The NIH has also given 8-Hydroxyquinoline Sulfate a warning rating as it can cause an allergic reaction. This allergic reaction can occur in the Mother or child. 8-Hydroxyquinoline Sulfate can damage the unborn child, it has been given a Danger rating by the NIH regarding this risk.

Due to these concerns, Bag Balm is not safe for breastfeeding.

The National Institutes of Health has determined that an ingredient in Bag Balm® is dangerous if swallowed or if it comes in contact with the eyes. It has also given another Bag Balm® ingredient a warning rating due to the possibility of an allergic reaction. Babies can easily transfer products placed on their skin to their mouths or eyes, which would lead one to infer that Bag Balm® is not safe for Babies.

Bag Balm® was developed in 1899 for use on cow utters. Much has been learned about the toxicity of ingredients since that time. As it is unlikely that cows can transfer the product to their eyes or mouths from their udders, using Bag Balm® on cows would not have had the risks it has with humans, especially children and babies.

For Babies & Toddlers who can transfer Bag Balm® to their mouths or eyes, the ingredients in Bag Balm® that can be toxic are a concern. Even for adults that inadvertently rub their eyes, or their lips, using a product that has ingredients that are known to be dangerous if swallowed, or if they come in contact with the eyes, is not the best skin care alternative.

For these reasons it is not advised that Bag Balm® be used as a nipple cream or nipple balm for women that are pregnant or nursing. Likewise, it is not recommended that Bag Balm® be used for Diaper rash.

Please see this article for information about petroleum jelly for diaper rash Vaseline® for Diaper Rash . . . Is There a Better Option?

Bag Balm® has been used on humans for decades, but, depending on the person's specific situation there may be better options to use for their skin condition.

Nipple creams and balms that are safe for breastfeeding are made with only organic ingredients that are safe for the baby to consume.

We recommend The Green Forest Lady Baby Booty Balm for its safe, nurturing and protecting ingredients.

Check out this article for more information about nipple creams & balms.

See this article to learn more about using Vaseline for diaper rash.

The National Institutes of Health has determined Bag Balm is toxic if swallowed.

Hazards information at the National Institutes of Health gives the 8-Hydroxyquinoline Sulfate compound a

Danger rating that it is toxic if swallowed,
Warning rating that it may cause an allergic skin reaction,
Danger rating that it can cause serious eye damage,
Danger warning that it may damage an unborn child.

There are safer alternatives to use on babies skin for diaper rash than Bag Balm.

The National Institutes of Health has determined Bag Balm is toxic if swallowed.

Hazards information at the National Institutes of Health gives the 8-Hydroxyquinoline Sulfate compound a

Danger rating that it is toxic if swallowed,
Warning rating that it may cause an allergic skin reaction,
Danger rating that it can cause serious eye damage,
Danger warning that it may damage an unborn child.

Generally the shelf life of Bag Balm is 5 years and it is recommended that Bag Balm be replaced after 5 years even if there is no detectable change in the product.

If there is a change in color, smell, texture it is recommended that the Bag Balm be replaced immediately.

According to the National Eczema Association eczema is associated with Itching, Dryness, sensitive ski, discolored skin, Rough, leathery or scaly skin, appearing as scaly patches, Oozing or crusting, and Areas of swelling. Some of these conditions can cause small openings in the skin which will allow Bag Balm to be absorbed into the blood stream.

Hazards
information at the National Institutes of Health gives the 8-Hydroxyquinoline Sulfate compound a

Danger rating that it is toxic if swallowed,
Warning rating that it may cause an allergic skin reaction,
Danger rating that it can cause serious eye damage,
Danger warning that it may damage an unborn child.

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