The first thing that you need to know about sudocrem is it’s not just for acne anymore. It’s been used in many skin conditions including psoriasis, eczema, rosacea, atopic dermatitis, vitiligo and even hair loss.
Sudocrem is a synthetic chemical compound which was developed in the 1950s by the German pharmaceutical company Bayer AG. It was originally intended for use as a pesticide but later found to have other uses such as treating wounds and burns. It’s now being marketed under several brand names including Sudocreme, Sudecream, Sudicare, Sudacream and others.
What does sudocrem do?
It works by killing bacteria and fungi on the surface of your skin. The problem with most antibiotics these days is they kill off good bacteria along with bad ones. So when you take them, some of those good bacteria are killed off too. When this happens, you get infections like strep throat or a urinary tract infection (UTI). Sudocrem kills both types of bacteria so it keeps your immune system strong instead of weakening it as antibiotic drugs usually do. Also, it helps with fungal yeast infections.
Sudocrem actively heals your skin while most other over-the-counter (OTC) treatments for skin conditions just treat the symptoms. Think of how a band-aid stops a cut from bleeding but that’s all it does. If you have a large deep cut, the bleeding won’t stop and it will be ugly and take a long time to heal itself naturally. Sudocrem stops the bleeding and actively heals the wound.
What are the ingredients in sudocrem?
It contains 5% w/w Benzyl benzoate, which is an organic compound commonly used as a fungicide. It also contains 0.5% w/w Myrj 52, which is a mixture of various alcohols, fats and oils combined with quaternary ammonium compounds. It also contains Lactic Acid (2%), which is an organic acid that occurs naturally in plants, animals and humans and is commonly used as a pH adjuster in cosmetics.
This chemical is the active ingredient in sudocrem which has antibacterial and antifungal properties. It’s also found in hair-care products to help control dandruff and in sunscreens to protect you from the sun’s UV rays.
Myrj 52, also known as Benzalkonium chloride, is an antiseptic agent that is derived from the plant genus of Aromolaria and is usually used in mouthwashes, toothpastes and lozenges. It can be absorbed into the body when ingested or inhaled when in vapour form. Although it’s toxic when absorbed into the body, it’s not very toxic. It’s not really dangerous as far as side effects go but it can be very bad for people with asthma or respiratory issues.
It can also be very bad for pregnant women and can lead to birth defects in unborn children.
It’s an organic acid that is naturally found in plants, animals and humans. It occurs when sugars undergo fermentation and is commonly used as a pH adjuster in cosmetics.
How long has sudocrem been around?
The first version of sudocrem was created in the late 1800s for treating nappy (diaper) rash. It wasn’t until the 1950s that it was developed into the antiseptic cream that we know today.
Does it actually work?
Yes, it’s very effective and does exactly what it says on the tin (tube). It can be used to help treat all kinds of skin conditions such as:
Dermatitis (inflammation of the skin)
Rashes (nappy rash, heat rash, etc)
Cuts and scrapes
Blistering skin conditions (e.g. toxic epidermal necrolysis)
Athlete’s foot (tinea pedis)
Fungal nail infections (onychomycosis)
Jock itch (tinea cruris)
Shingles (herpes zoster)
Sudocrem can also be used as an effective and natural alternative to deodorant. It can be used to help heal mild skin conditions and even as an aftershave.
Does it work on everything?
No, sudocrem isn’t always effective on sunburns as it doesn’t prevent further damage to the skin so continue to use sunblock on sunburnt skin. Sudocrem is also ineffective against jellyfish stings. If you get stung by a jellyfish apply vinegar to the affected area and seek immediate medical attention.
Is sudocrem safe for children?
Sudocrem can be used to treat and prevent diaper rash in young children, but it should never be applied to infected wounds or anywhere else on the body. It doesn’t contain anything toxic, but if ingested a doctor should be consulted immediately.
Is sudocrem safe for adults?
Sudocrem is generally safe for adults and can be used to treat and prevent minor skin conditions such as sunburn and eczema. It’s also an effective shaving cream and can be used to soothe irritated skin after a sunburn.
It’s not suitable as an ingredient in natural beauty recipes due to the mineral oil content, but it can be used as a basic aftershave.
Does it expire?
Just like any other pharmacy cream, sudocrem does expire after a certain amount of time. Check the side of your tube for the expiration date and don’t use it after this date has passed. It’s not harmful if you do use it after the expiry date but its effectiveness may have worn off. If in doubt, throw it out.
Where can I buy sudocrem?
You can buy sudocrem from any supermarket or drug store. It’s not always carried in smaller stores so you may need to go to a larger store such as Walmart or CVS. You can also buy it online in the US and UK.
You can also make your own sudocrem (nappy rash cream) by following this simple recipe.
Have you heard the joke about the chemist, the pharmacist and the sudocrem?
Q: What does the pharmacist say to the chemist when they’ve both been caught stealing sudocrem?
A: “Shall I shake it or bang it?
Sources & references used in this article:
Basic essentials: why elderly skin requires special treatment by D Voegeli – Nursing and Residential Care, 2010 – magonlinelibrary.com
Prevention and treatment of incontinence‐associated dermatitis: literature review by D Beeckman, L Schoonhoven… – Journal of advanced …, 2009 – Wiley Online Library
A real-world evidence study evaluating a treatment for nappy rash by M Goldman, I Lodhi – British Journal of Nursing, 2016 – magonlinelibrary.com
Incontinence-associated dermatitis: a comprehensive review and update by M Gray, D Beeckman, DZ Bliss… – Journal of Wound …, 2012 – cdn.journals.lww.com
Interventions for preventing and treating incontinence‐associated dermatitis in adults by D Beeckman, N Van Damme… – Cochrane Database …, 2016 – cochranelibrary.com
A clinical study of Sudocrem in the management of dermatitis due to the physical stress of incontinence in a geriatric population by DABARMN SRN, EBBS SRN… – Journal of Advanced …, 1987 – Wiley Online Library
Bio-tribology of incontinence management products: additional complexities at the skin–pad interface by F Motamen Salehi, A Neville… – … -Materials, Surfaces & …, 2018 – Taylor & Francis