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PEOPLE'S PHARMACY

Disagreement over Maalox for diaper rash

Pharmacists differ over its effectiveness as a topical paste. But care is needed if used.

February 09, 2009|Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon

My grandson has bad diaper rash. It is hard for him to walk, and he cries when we bathe him or clean his bottom. Someone suggested making a paste with Maalox.

The Pharmacist's Letter, a professional publication, classifies Maalox for diaper rash as a rumor. Nonetheless, many parents and some pharmacists are enthusiastic about this home remedy.

The baby's skin is cleaned promptly and gently with water. Maalox liquid is applied with a cotton ball. Once it has dried, a protective barrier such as Aquaphor or zinc oxide cream can be smoothed on.

If the rash persists for more than a few days, check with the baby's doctor. Too-frequent use of Maalox might expose a baby to excessive amounts of aluminum and magnesium, especially if the skin is irritated. A diaper rash caused by yeast may disappear after treatment with an antifungal cream.

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When you wrote about alternatives to Crestor for lowering cholesterol, you failed to mention oat bran. For about 10 years I've been eating a half-cup of oat bran every day.

I make it into a loaf using a bread maker. The recipe is on any box of Quaker Oat Bran, but I add one cup of raisins. The two-cup loaf lasts four days. My cholesterol went from 210 to 160 in a short time and has remained there.

Oat bran is rich in soluble fiber and can help lower total cholesterol. It takes quite a bit of oat bran daily to make a difference. We applaud you for finding a palatable way to consume this much oat bran.

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Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist and Teresa Graedon is an expert in medical anthropology and nutrition. www.peoplespharmacy.com

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