A Tale of Two Rashes
In my Big Fat Greek Wedding, the solution for everything is Windex. A little here, a little there. A little on your cold sore, a little on your poison ivy. Why not? Go Greek. (Now is probably a good time to say that it’s not really a good idea to spray chemicals on your skin.)
The reason I am bringing this up is that in the world of babies and the perpetual need to keep them from making high pitched noises that I wish only dogs could hear, there is a similar catch-all: a blob of petroleum jelly. A little on their cheeks, a little on their behind, and everyone is happy. Well, mainly the small human is happy because their rash is less annoying, but you know what I mean.
“For shame! You are poisoning this child!,” I hear you say. “Is Vaseline harmful?!,” I hear you challenge.
Well, no, dear well-meaning, probably nature-based parental units: Vaseline is non-comedogenic, meaning it doesn’t clog pores. It is tried and true for diaper rash (yes, they have actually done research on this). There is no way I’m ignoring that fact when the one with the problem skin wants help as much as I want to sleep.
Adult story time: The last time I babysat, I had the joy of looking after a kid with not only diaper rash but a dry patch on his thigh in a shape not unlike that of Africa. He was really, really happy uncomfortable and his parents had been struggling to remedy the situation. Cue prescription ointments, too much baby powder, and a permanently cranky baby.
I’m not saying I’m the best babysitter ever, but I’m pretty much the best babysitter ever because I did some research and discovered a forum of parents chatting about the use of petroleum jelly on diaper rash… and saying that it worked. Color me curious (and slightly scarred by the images of diaper rash online)!
As with any online suggestion, I took this with a grain of salt and a due amount of caution. OK, I actually checked the Vaseline website to see if it is safe for kids (it is), smeared it on and said a little prayer, but the sentiment is the same.
Now, unfortunately, I don’t speak gibberish, so I can’t be totally sure if he calmed down because my handsome face was looking down at him, or because of the thin layer of Vaseline he was being introduced to. However, I can say with relative certainty that he was, in fact, relieved. Gold star for me!
When they returned that evening, I told his parents about this new weapon for the Rash of Ages and they introduced it into the regimen with great results. The next time I saw him, we had returned to his normal chorus of ‘feed me’, ‘I am exhausted’, and ‘I wonder what this tastes like.’ Welcome sounds, indeed.