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  #1  
Old 03-01-2003, 10:52 PM
robby robby is offline
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Bag Balm safe for human use?

I've been meaning to post this for some time now...

My 6-year old son has mild eczema on his face, particularly in winter, when his face gets chapped and windburned, leading to a rash. Our pediatrician prescribed a number of hydrocortisone-based creams that were marginally effective.

Some time ago, however, my wife started putting Bag Balm on my son's face, and it seems to be very effective. I was concerned about the "VETERINARY USE ONLY" label, but my wife (who is a nurse, BTW) continued to use it. After all, she reasoned, it's in all of the drug stores. Not to mention, a lot of people are using it.

Anyway, I finally looked up some info about the safety of the stuff. According the container, the active ingredients are "8-hydroxyquinoline sulfate 0.3% in a petrolatum, lanolin base."

I looked up the active ingredient, and found the following info:

http://ptcl.chem.ox.ac.uk/MSDS/HY/8-...quinoline.html
http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop/National...yquinoline.pdf

Now I'm more than a little concerned. The pure form of the active ingredient may be a carcinogen in animals and a mutagen in humans! Now, Bag Balm only contains a 0.3% concentration, but...

So my question is: Is Bag Balm safe for humans?
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  #2  
Old 03-01-2003, 11:42 PM
yabob yabob is online now
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It's used in a couple of products specifically intended for humans, such as this one:

http://www.hocks.com/htm/bodybath/3493293.htm

Quote:
This toxic, coal tar chemical is used (in the form of potassium hydroxyquinoline sulfate) as a topical antiseptic in skin creams and lotions, in concentrations between 0.05% and 0.5%. Itís phototoxic and may cause cancer (some coal tar colors have been found to be carcinogenic in animal tests). It must bear a warning on the label that reads: Not for sun protection products, and it isnít allowed at all in products for children under three years old. ...
from http://www.essentialdayspa.com/cosme...re_terms_e.htm - note that the Ammens powder is reccomended for diaper rash, however.

IANAD, but I'm going to guess that an occasional application of the stuff isn't going to hurt - as you observe, some people swear by it, even if it was originally intended for cow's udders. The company figured this out, and started selling it for higher prices in smaller tins, too, catering to retail stores having nothing to do with farm animals. "phototoxic" ... you may not want to let the kid run around outside with it on.

What the heck, one of Cecil's old articles informs us that Absorbine Junior was originally sold as horse linament in its "senior" form. The company figured they had a good thing going when the farmers who were rubbing it on their horses started using it on themselves, too.
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  #3  
Old 03-02-2003, 12:39 AM
Nametag Nametag is offline
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The ban on use of 8-OHQ must be relatively recent; back in the '90s I worked for a company that made a terrific burn ointment with this stuff. That hysterical "natural is good, chemicals are bad" site that yabob linked to is utterly without merit.
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  #4  
Old 03-02-2003, 01:07 AM
Violet Violet is offline
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I'd check with your pediatrician. That said, I know adults who use it for their hands. I also saw it for sale at a Costco with other items for human use.
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  #5  
Old 03-02-2003, 02:26 AM
j.c. j.c. is offline
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Please don't make me cite - I'm out of town and away from my medicine cabinet but - potassium hydroxyquinoline sulfate is in several prescription skin creams for acne and rosacea.
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  #6  
Old 03-02-2003, 02:33 AM
DMark DMark is offline
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My SO had a cyst removed from the back of his neck recently and his doctor/surgeon prescribribed bag balm to help it heal.
I looked at the label and freaked out.
But the pharmacist at the drugstore swore by it and suddenly about 5 people in the vicinity who heard my concern all said they use it regularly.
Still...when you read the label...well...it does give pause.
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  #7  
Old 03-02-2003, 03:04 AM
SnugTheJoiner SnugTheJoiner is offline
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I remember a story on 60 MINUTES--it must have been twenty years ago--about Bag Balm. The story opined that it was used on more humans than cows.

I myself have used it to clear up an assortment of skin complaints, with no ill effects.

--Snug

PS--I am not a cow.
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  #8  
Old 03-02-2003, 07:20 AM
Washte Washte is offline
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I've used BB for yonks, especially in Wyoming winters. It is wonderful for chapped and irritated skin.

Ask your pediatrician of course, but it should be fine. Farmers and country folk have been using it on themselves since it came out (from personal experience and knowledge anyway).
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  #9  
Old 03-02-2003, 07:30 AM
kiz kiz is offline
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I use BB semi-regularly on my feet and on the scaly dry patches on both elbows.

FWIW, I've been using the stuff for years with no ill effects
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  #10  
Old 03-02-2003, 07:40 AM
herman_and_bill herman_and_bill is offline
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Me and the old missus used it on the babies for diaper rash
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  #11  
Old 03-02-2003, 10:19 AM
Bjorn240 Bjorn240 is offline
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While the plural of anecdote is not data, many cyclists on vigorous multi-day rides apply Bag Balm. It is the most effective cure for chafing found, and most everyone swears by it.

I'd not be overly concerned about the effects of Bag Balm, unless you've already cut out all the NutraSweet and Red Dye #3 out of your diet.

Let's put it this way, on my bike rides, I'm more worried about poorly-driven Lincoln Navigators than a mutagenic schmear on my bottom.

- Bjorn240
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  #12  
Old 03-02-2003, 10:58 AM
SuperNelson SuperNelson is offline
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The SuperWife™ and I use this regularly. We buy it in the cosmetic section at the drugstore, so we've never worried about the human use aspect. She uses it for dry feet and hands, and we both use it on more delicate parts for long runs and rides. Last year at Ride the Rockies, there was even a group that had gotten the manufacturers to provide green jerseys with "Team Bag Balm" logos on them. Those ruled.
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  #13  
Old 03-02-2003, 01:05 PM
Rick Rick is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by SuperNelson
The SuperWife™ and I use this regularly. We buy it in the cosmetic section at the drugstore, so we've never worried about the human use aspect. She uses it for dry feet and hands, and we both use it on more delicate parts for long runs and rides. Last year at Ride the Rockies, there was even a group that had gotten the manufacturers to provide green jerseys with "Team Bag Balm" logos on them. Those ruled.
That rocks! BB got me through the last 4 days of a seven day ride when I could hardly sit on the saddle by the end of the third day.
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  #14  
Old 03-02-2003, 01:27 PM
Berkut Berkut is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by SuperNelson
use it on more delicate parts
Hence the name, "Bag" Balm.
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  #15  
Old 05-30-2011, 03:24 PM
mjelse mjelse is offline
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Not that bad?

see this link for the actual ingredient listed in Bag Balm:

http://www.pesticideinfo.org/Detail_...34299#Toxicity

there does not appear to be anything clearly evident about toxicity, according to this site.
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  #16  
Old 05-30-2011, 03:36 PM
SeldomSeen SeldomSeen is offline
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I personally think Bag Balm is safe, I've used it often. But if you're still concerned, Badger Balm is just as effective, and entirely safe. Smells better too.
SS
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  #17  
Old 05-30-2011, 03:40 PM
Poysyn Poysyn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herman_and_bill View Post
Me and the old missus used it on the babies for diaper rash
It was amazing for this, I even passed a tin off to two new mommies, both of which had new sons with deadly diaper rash - cleared it up almost overnight, same as my experience.
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  #18  
Old 05-30-2011, 03:46 PM
Guinastasia Guinastasia is offline
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Wouldn't Udder Cream also work then?
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  #19  
Old 05-30-2011, 06:13 PM
robby robby is offline
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Just saw this thread on the front page...and was amused to see that the question was one that I asked over 8 years ago.

Anyway, I'll add that my wife actually consulted with two different dermatologists, as well as my son's pediatrician, and they all told her it was fine to use.

Also, my son is 14 years old now, and hasn't shown any ill effects to date.
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  #20  
Old 05-30-2011, 06:18 PM
classyladyhp classyladyhp is offline
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His kid is now 14
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  #21  
Old 05-30-2011, 06:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by classyladyhp View Post
His kid is now 14
and he goes moo and chews his food slowly for long periods of time.
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  #22  
Old 05-30-2011, 07:37 PM
BrotherCadfael BrotherCadfael is offline
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Face it, they sell about ten thousand times more of the stuff than could ever be used on cows...
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  #23  
Old 05-30-2011, 07:46 PM
Leo Bloom Leo Bloom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Washte View Post
I've used BB for yonks....
Learned a new word!
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  #24  
Old 05-30-2011, 07:51 PM
thelabdude thelabdude is offline
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Originally Posted by Nametag View Post
.....That hysterical "natural is good, chemicals are bad" site that yabob linked to is utterly without merit.
The June 2011 National Geographic has a short article on page 21 about the dangers of of carmine from the cochineal. For many, red dye #40 is safer.

Yes, Bag Balm is dangerous. So is almost almost every other effective medicine. Penicillin is a great killer.
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  #25  
Old 05-30-2011, 09:09 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Studies have shown that research causes cancer in laboratory rats.
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  #26  
Old 05-30-2011, 09:49 PM
missred missred is offline
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My folks and grandparents used it for years. I rediscovered it when I milked goats 20+ years ago. After applying it to their udders (they used to get chapped in the winter), my own hands became softer.

I still use it sometimes in the winter when nothing else will soothe the dry, cracked skin on my hands, elbows and heels.
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  #27  
Old 05-30-2011, 10:28 PM
Rick Rick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnpost View Post
and he goes moo and chews his food slowly for long periods of time.
Outstanding!
This thread is done.
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  #28  
Old 05-31-2011, 01:52 AM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
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Originally Posted by Rick View Post
Outstanding!
This thread is done.
It's rare to see it so well done in any medium, without the subject being over done.
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  #29  
Old 05-31-2011, 11:02 PM
Leo Bloom Leo Bloom is offline
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Originally Posted by Harmonious Discord View Post
It's rare to see it so well done in any medium, without the subject being over done.
Could have a little more blue Englisch, but certainly a point.
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  #30  
Old 06-01-2011, 12:41 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnugTheJoiner View Post
I remember a story on 60 MINUTES--it must have been twenty years ago--about Bag Balm. The story opined that it was used on more humans than cows.

I myself have used it to clear up an assortment of skin complaints, with no ill effects.

--Snug

PS--I am not a cow.
I was gonna say, you type remarkably well with those hooves.
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  #31  
Old 06-01-2011, 11:10 PM
madhadder545 madhadder545 is offline
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BAG balm

I my self use bag balm for many things I use it for dry nose (I'll stick it up my nose), chapped lip's, open sores dry hands and feet, I never swallow it but I use it for everything else!!
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  #32  
Old 06-01-2011, 11:49 PM
Snnipe 70E Snnipe 70E is offline
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That is something that I have not seen in 40 + years.
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  #33  
Old 06-01-2011, 11:51 PM
nikonikosuru nikonikosuru is offline
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Double zombie thread?
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  #34  
Old 06-02-2011, 12:37 AM
robby robby is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnpost View Post
and he goes moo and chews his food slowly for long periods of time.
Well, he is a teenager, now...

Heck, put him in front of a monitor (whether video game, computer, iPod, or phone screen) and the resemblance to a cud-chewing bovine is uncanny.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nikonikosuru View Post
Double zombie thread?
No, just a normal, single one.

To make this a double zombie thread, and to keep the intervals in the grave consistent, we need just wait another 8 years after the current discussion dies down.

I'll set a reminder in my calendar for 2019.
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  #35  
Old 06-02-2011, 02:12 AM
Leo Bloom Leo Bloom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robby View Post
....
To make this a double zombie thread, and to keep the intervals in the grave consistent, we need just wait another 8 years after the current discussion dies down.

I'll set a reminder in my calendar for 2019.
Bag Balm will not work for freezer burn.

Last edited by Leo Bloom; 06-02-2011 at 02:13 AM..
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  #36  
Old 01-07-2012, 07:19 PM
Shadowstands Shadowstands is offline
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Bag Balm

Having used bag balm most of my life, and having grown up in a rural area, as well as having seen it used for all types of skin issues as a Nurse, I used it on my children's diaper rash-I was then taken to court by my ex-husband the M.D. for child abuse by using an animal preparation, e.g. bag balm. I had to spend nearly 10k in legal fees, professional testimony, etc. before the charge (backed up by his girlfriend, the Pharmacist) was tossed out by a Judge who stated "my Mother used that on me and my brothers and sisters on the farm, and we never suffered any ill effects"...so be careful!
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  #37  
Old 01-07-2012, 07:39 PM
Nametag Nametag is offline
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OK, now it's a double zombie thread!
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  #38  
Old 01-08-2012, 06:10 PM
Rick Rick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadowstands View Post
Having used bag balm most of my life, and having grown up in a rural area, as well as having seen it used for all types of skin issues as a Nurse, I used it on my children's diaper rash-I was then taken to court by my ex-husband the M.D. for child abuse by using an animal preparation, e.g. bag balm. I had to spend nearly 10k in legal fees, professional testimony, etc. before the charge (backed up by his girlfriend, the Pharmacist) was tossed out by a Judge who stated "my Mother used that on me and my brothers and sisters on the farm, and we never suffered any ill effects"...so be careful!
Do they chew their food slowly for a long time and go moo a lot?
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  #39  
Old 01-08-2012, 07:41 PM
BrotherCadfael BrotherCadfael is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Washte View Post
I've used BB for yonks, especially in Wyoming winters. It is wonderful for chapped and irritated skin.
What is yonks, and why is Bag Balm good for it?
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  #40  
Old 01-08-2012, 09:00 PM
Mister Rik Mister Rik is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrotherCadfael View Post
What is yonks, and why is Bag Balm good for it?
I think it's a city in New York. They have cows there.



What?

Last edited by Mister Rik; 01-08-2012 at 09:03 PM..
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  #41  
Old 01-08-2012, 09:16 PM
Beware of Doug Beware of Doug is offline
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I was prescribed Bag Balm by a noted New York City podiatrist about ten years ago. And at that time, there wasn't any notice about "Veterinary Use Only" on the tin!

Fuckin' lawyers...they've become a force of nature. They'll ruin everything if you let 'em.

Last edited by Beware of Doug; 01-08-2012 at 09:17 PM..
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  #42  
Old 01-08-2012, 09:47 PM
Mister Rik Mister Rik is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beware of Doug View Post
I was prescribed Bag Balm by a noted New York City podiatrist about ten years ago. And at that time, there wasn't any notice about "Veterinary Use Only" on the tin!
For what it's worth, I have a 10-ounce tin here that I've had for somewhat less than 10 years, and it also has no "Veterinary Use Only" warning.
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  #43  
Old 01-09-2012, 12:57 AM
robby robby is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beware of Doug View Post
I was prescribed Bag Balm by a noted New York City podiatrist about ten years ago. And at that time, there wasn't any notice about "Veterinary Use Only" on the tin!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Rik View Post
For what it's worth, I have a 10-ounce tin here that I've had for somewhat less than 10 years, and it also has no "Veterinary Use Only" warning.
Well, you'll notice that my original question was posted nearly 9 years ago, and I referred to the "VETERINARY USE ONLY" label in that first post, so it goes back at least that far.
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  #44  
Old 01-09-2012, 03:20 PM
Mister Rik Mister Rik is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robby View Post
Well, you'll notice that my original question was posted nearly 9 years ago, and I referred to the "VETERINARY USE ONLY" label in that first post, so it goes back at least that far.
Any chance you obtained that can from a Canadian source? I found this in the FAQ on their Canadian site:

***
Can we apply Bag balm on human skin?

This is the most frequently asked question we receive. Bag balm was initially created for animal usage only. The manufacturer specifies this on the packaging. All the while over the years humans have achieved excellent results on dry, irritated and chapped skin.
***
(bolding mine)

However, the US site makes no mention of such labeling, though it provides several examples of use on both animals and humans. According to Wikipedia, the stuff in manufactured both in Vermont and in Quebec, so I assume the Quebec plant is the manufacturer being referred to on the Canadian site. I wouldn't be surprised if differences between US and Canadian labeling laws were a factor.
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  #45  
Old 01-10-2012, 10:08 AM
robby robby is offline
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Originally Posted by Mister Rik View Post
Any chance you obtained that can from a Canadian source?
The can was purchased in the U.S. I can't check the place of manufacture on the can because we no longer have the can in question after nine years.

Last edited by robby; 01-10-2012 at 10:08 AM..
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  #46  
Old 01-22-2012, 07:14 PM
Hippie Joe Hippie Joe is offline
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Bag Balm vs. Badger Balm

I have eczema on my hands. At it's worst, my skin blisters. It becomes thick like leather. It cracks and bleeds. It hurts like a bastard. I've had this problem for a couple of years.

Having no insurance, I just bore it. I tried hand creams. My instinct told me to avoid chemicals, and so I switched all of my soaps to natural stuff - palm oil, glycerin, etc. No perfumes, dyes, alcohol, or petroleum derivatives.

I eventually found an affordable naturopath that prescribed a steroid cream. Yeah, I see the irony. I tried that, and it seemed to work. But, as soon as I ran out of steroid cream, the eczema came back... with a vengeance.

I thought it over. I realized that I'd done a pretty good job of limiting the eczema's impact on my life by switching to natural products and limiting my exposure to chemicals. I found this stuff called 'Badger Balm' at a local store and tried it out. It is all natural and organic (for those that care about such things). I have been treating my eczema with great success by simply keeping my hands hydrated and sealed (it contains beeswax) with this stuff.

I talked with my naturopath about it, and she told me that this was the biggest factor in treating eczema - keeping it hydrated - especially with all of the pressure to sanitize oneself regularly. We constantly dry out our skin with solvents, detergents, and anti-bacterial solutions. Our skin needs moisture (as well as its natural defensive bacteria) to be healthy. If we take it away, we have to put it back. She agreed that doing so in a natural way was probably the safest and smartest approach.

I've found Badger Balm at Fred Meyer and New Seasons. I think that if you explore their website, it has a store locator function somewhere.

For the record, my grandma swore by Bag Balm. She (and by extension, we) used it all of the time to aid in healing, treat rashes, cool burns, un-chap lips, etc. It's only since becoming an adult and a parent that I've started thinking more critically about the stuff that I slather on my body.
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  #47  
Old 01-04-2013, 08:35 PM
Time4Latte Time4Latte is offline
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Seems to be an old thread, but as I was googling "medical uses for bag balm" this thread popped up. Just thought the readers would like to know that a small tub of it was given to me in the hospital following the birth of my first son to apply to my stitches.
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  #48  
Old 01-04-2013, 09:58 PM
CookingWithGas CookingWithGas is offline
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Yes, old thread, but I think it's worth mentioning that the lanolin is probably the ingredient that gives the wonderful results that everyone is talking about. There is a product called Lansinoh that was recommended by a nurse when my wife was breastfeeding that is pure lanolin. I believe that pure lanolin is also available under other brand names.
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  #49  
Old 01-04-2013, 10:56 PM
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Bag Balm is good, but I generally use Neutrogena. That stuff is absolutely amazing. Paul Harvey advertised it heavily, and my family has used it for decades.
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  #50  
Old 01-05-2013, 03:23 AM
t-bonham@scc.net t-bonham@scc.net is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyer View Post
Bag Balm is good, but I generally use Neutrogena. That stuff is absolutely amazing. Paul Harvey advertised it heavily, and my family has used it for decades.
From the ingredients list, they're pretty much the same. But bag balm is cheaper than Neutrogena. (Probably because bag balm companies don't pay Paul Harvey to advertise. Cows are too smart to be influenced by what Paul Harvey says.)
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