I got inked, last year, and they adviced me to buy some Bepanthen for aftercare. As I've no kids, I'd never heard of Bepanthen (nappy care ointment) before, but OMG, how I love that stuff now! I am actually still using the first 30g tube I bought, and there's about 1/3 of it left, yet I've used it for all kinds of stuff, so it's good value as well.
For starters, I used it for tattoo aftercare, and had absolutely no trouble. My skin healed even quicker than I expected, and although I'd applied Bepanthen several times a day, the tube still looked as if I'd just bought it, after I was done with tattoo aftercare.
My skin is generally very dry, and I'm one of those people who doesn't really give a shyte, so I can go several days without applying any kind of a moisturiser or such. Sometimes I get flaky skin - for example, on the sides of my nose,especially in winter. Bepanthen is brilliant for that! It's also a great lip balm.
Here's something I just discovered today;
(Starting with a description of the problem..) My left elbow gets VERY dry and flaky, because I'm always sitting on the floor, resting my left elbow on my knee while using the mouse with my right hand, so the right elbow isn't getting the same 'abuse'.. By abuse, I mean that the left elbow is constantly pressed against some sort of clothing, which seems to be making it dry and flaky.
I've applied Bepanthen on the elbow, and it does help, but I have to keep applying it quite often, and if I wear long sleeves (to protect everything else from getting Bepanthen-stained), that'll soon dry the skin again.. Also, if I don't wear long sleeves, the elbow will get dry again when I rest it against my knee, so it's like a neverending circle..
However.. I just found a new trick today! My elbow was REALLY dry and flaky again, so I applied Bepanthen on it. I thought I'd just try and put something on it to avoid staining stuff as I'm wearing short sleeves today. The first suitable thing I found, was a KFC freshen up tissue! (=Individually wrapped wet wipe, which contains alcohol.) I unfolded it and placed it on my elbow - it stuck to the greasy Bepanthen.
About half an hour later, I had to get up, so I took the tissue off. I was amazed to find that it was now bone dry. It wasn't dry in a similar way than it would be, if you'd just left it discarded somewhere after using it to clean hands or something. No, this time, it was sort of dry and 'hard', like a sheet of paper you'd write on.
I didn't even think of checking my elbow, at first, but a few minutes later, I happened to notice that my skin was now perfectly smooth! :O Not a sign of any flaking! And less than an hour before, it had been very dry and flaky.. As I'm typing this, it's been maybe an hour again, and the skin is still smooth and perfect.
I'm going to experiment with this discovery now.. I still have one KFC freshen up tissue, but the next time my elbow gets dry and flaky, I'm going to try a non-alcoholic baby wipe instead - I always have those, because they're good for cleaning rubber stamps, or cleaning hands after a snack, etc.. I just thought I'd blog about this, in case anyone else gets dry and flaky skin, and needs a quick way of healing it. Apply Bepanthen generously, and slap a wet wipe on it for maybe about 30 minutes or so. As I mentioned, I don't know yet if it matters whether the wipe contains alcohol or not. Mine did, and it worked. I am totally amazed..
But back to the various uses of Bepanthen..
Scabs. They can get itchy, and you can make them so much worse by scratching.. So, Bepanthen helps! And it seems to work for animals as well!
One of my cats, Thatsit, hates being examined or treated.. (OK, all cats do, but Thatsit is so bad that not even an experienced vet can manage to give her a pill, for example.. It just will NOT happen.. The cat is small, but she'll kill you..) She occasionally has scabs, after fighting with other cats - she's the one who always starts the fights..
Once, Thatsit had a pretty nasty looking scratch, very close to her left eye. It was a bit swollen, but at that point, not quite bad enough to take her to the 24h vets (it was late at night when I found the scratch on her). I thought I'd try Bepanthen.. So, I put a tiny bit of Bepanthen on the tip of my finger, and before Thatsit even noticed, I applied it on the scratch. Thatsit was upset at first, because I'd managed to outsmart her by treating her when she didn't expect it.. BUT, it must have made her feel better as the next time I did it, she didn't get upset at all, and after that, she came for more! :O She actually came to my lap, and when I took out the Bepanthen tube and squeezed some of it on my finger, with Thatsit seeing and smelling it, she just stayed, and I could tell that she actually enjoyed it when I applied it on the scratch! Also, the scratch was healing quickly, and when it got better (and the swelling was gone), I started even rubbing the Bepanthen on it. It must have helped on the itch as Thatsit was loving it.. =D
NOTE: Always, always contact a vet, if your pet has actual wounds or bites as those can get badly infected, even after the skin has healed.. Especially if there's any swelling, or if the pet seems 'off' somehow, there might be an infection / abscess, which requires professional treatment and antibiotics. Use the Bepanthen trick for only small scratches / scabs, if they seem itchy and you want to keep the animal from scratching them, and only apply very thinly, to allow the healing skin to breathe. If the animal isn't trying to scratch, don't apply anything.
If there's one negative thing about Bepanthen, it would be the issue of animal testing.. I don't have the other packaging left, but at least the tube itself does not say anything about that, which leads me to believe that it HAS been tested on animals.. (I've googled it briefly, but couldn't find 100% certain info, either way..) If so, I would very much like to find an alternative product that HASN'T been tested on animals - if anyone knows such a thing (available in Ireland), please leave a comment!