Let’s face it, diaper rashes happen and they suck.
There are a number of over the counter options available that work to varying degrees. Some are great as a prophylactic and others are better when things have gone bad.
The reality is that even with diligent efforts at avoiding diaper rash they can creep up on you. Recently, our nearly one month old daughter developed a rather nasty diaper rash that our normal ointments and creams just couldn’t handle.
While I was performing my mid-feeding pit crew duties, my wife told me that she planned on whipping something up to help fix things for our little girl.
Excited, I ran to the mudroom and returned with duct tape, paper clips and a pen – the basic elements of any MacGuyver solution. Sadly, that was not exactly what my wife had in mind.
She explained that she was going to use her mad compounding skills to make a batch of ointment that is similar in nature to Greer’s Goo. Since I didn’t know what that was I googled it to find out more and I learned that it is essentially a topical formulation of hydrocortisone, nystatin and zinc oxide.
Zinc oxide is the main ingredient in several over the counter diaper ointments, such as Desitin, and is considered a barrier element preventing skin contact with the diaper and its contents. Nystatin is an antifungal, but it requires a prescription, which is the main reason why Greer’s Goo isn’t available over the counter. Finally, hydrocortisone provides an anti-inflammatory element. It is also a steroid that should not be used extensively in the diaper area for a prolonged period of time.
In my quest for more information I did come across some bad information saying that Triple Paste was the commercial equivalent. This, however, is not true. Zinc oxide is the only common element Triple Paste shares with Greer’s Goo.
After a quick trip to the store with the big red bullseye to procure the ingredients, we had everything we needed to make a 4 ounce batch of our homemade alternative to Greer’s Goo for about $9.00. Coincidentally, that is double the amount of ointment for the same price as compared with some other over the counter options.
Being a pharmacist in a major hospital my wife is used to making this stuff in four pound batches using a large kitchen mixer. While this was an adjustment for her, the basic ratio remains the same.
If you need something with a little more kick to it and want to save yourself the co-pay for a doctor’s visit, as well as the cost of the prescription, then you can give this a try:
Homemade Alternative to Greer’s Goo
1 oz. Clotrimazole (active ingredient in Lotrimin cream)
1 oz. Hydrocortisone 1% Cream
2 oz. Zinc oxide (generic diaper ointment)
Here’s how we put our batch together, but do it however works for you.
Squirt out ingredients onto a flat surface (we used parchment paper that we taped to our countertops)
Schmear around to combine until smooth
Scoop into containment vessel
Apply liberally. A batch like this should be good for about six months.
Warnings & Disclaimers:
This should go without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway. Despite this information coming from a pharmacist with 15 years experience who used the same formula on her own children, this blog post and its contents are not a substitute to obtaining professional medical advice. If you choose to try this for your children and it isn’t helping after a few days, then discontinue use and call your pediatrician.
Finally, this is a homemade alternative to Greer’s Goo, as it contains a different anti-fungal (clotrimazole), which may or may not be as effective as the anti-fungal (nystatin) contained in the prescription version.