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Topical preparations and breastfeeding

There are so many reasons that we need to apply creams, lotions, ointments and pastes to our bodies when breastfeeding. There is poor absorption of most products applied topically and most can be used without interrupting breastfeeding. These include:

  • Moisturizers/emollients used to soothe skin e.g Diprobase ® , Dermol ® , E45 ® , Aveeno ® , Cetraben
  • Topical steroids to soothe eczema should be applied sparingly regardless of breastfeeding and accompanied by emollients to keep skin supple eg Betnovate ®, Eumovate ® , Elocon ® , Hydrocortisone. They can be applied to the nipple very sparingly for short periods of time after feeds without needing to wash off as this may further damage skin. Moisturisers should be used to keep the skin supple but not soggy.
  • Bath emollients and shower gels to soothe irritated skin e.g Oilatum ®, E45 ® , Aveeno ®
  • Creams to treat cold sores e.g anti viral acyclovir (Zovirax ®), Compeed patches ®
  • Antiseptic creams e.g Savlon ®, Germolene ®, Dettol ® for minor wounds.
  • Antibacterial creams e.g fucidic acid (Fucidin ®), muciprocin (Bactroban) can be applied sparingly after feeds without need to wash off
  • Preparations to treat corns, warts and veruccas e.g Bazuka ® , Scholl products, Wartner ®
  • Creams to treat athletes food e.g terbinafine (Lamisil ® ), clotrimazole (Canesten ® ), Mycota ® , Mycil ®, Daktarin ®, Scholl products
  • Anti inflammatory gels and creams eg ibuprofen (Ibugel ® ), Diclofenac (Voltarol ® ), Deep Heat ® , Tiger Balm® , taking care not to use these where baby can rub into eyes
  • Medicated shampoos and lotions eg BetaCap ® , Selsun ®, Polytar ®
  • Head lice treatment https://breastfeeding-and-medication.co.uk/fact-sheet/head-lice-and-breastfeeding

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