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Baby powders and oils

By BitterGrey

While physics might limit the production of baby diapers in adult sizes, there is a category of baby products that are mostly one-size-fits-all.

Baby powder

ABDL stories typically include the application of a fragrant cloud of baby powder during diaper changes. The dryness of the absorbent powder contrasts pleasantly with the wet diaper being changed. Depending on the story, this might be the only aspect we can live out.

Baby powder does offer some benefits. For example, the powder can make messy changes a little easier. Similar to flouring a rolling pin, the powder might keep firm stools from sticking to the skin. However, the fragrant cloud is usually the main function.

For standing changes, or other compromised situations, it might be better to powder the diaper and then put it on. Some of the powder will transfer to the skin. It is possible to shake powder onto your hand and apply manually, but be sure to get all the powder off your hands before taping on a disposable.

However romantic, baby powder isn't necessarily beneficial. The powder will absorb small amounts of moisture, but then hold it against the skin, instead of letting it be locked away by the gel of the disposable. Originally, baby powder was made from talc, a mineral dust that could accumulate in the lungs over time. Modern baby powders use corn or tapioca starches. When wet, these become syrupy and can feed bacterial growth.

Gold Bond® baby powder (not the body powder) adds some zinc oxide, which might help prevent rashes. Since zinc oxide and kaolin are ceramic powders like talc, the warning against inhalation should be heeded. Of course, even the corn-starch-based baby powders have inhalation warnings among the directions.

Barrier oils and creams

This category prevents rashes by keeping urine and stool off the skin. Baby oil (mineral oil and fragrance) seems to be the most ubiquitous of them. As you may already know, it is a pourable liquid, but also available as a viscous gel. For ABDLs, this can have the added function of making things down there slippery. Plain mineral oil can also be used as a laxative.

Petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline®, is also a traditional standard. It has a distinctive, non-babyish scent. Plain petroleum jelly also has countless other uses, including sealing truck battery terminalsEXT (but not as a laxative). Medicated jellies, such as A&D® "original" ointment, are also available.

Diaper rash creams

While the barrier creams may prevent diaper rash, they do little to help rashes once they occur. Diaper rash creams usually include zinc oxide, ranging from a waxy 10% to a 40% chalky slurry. Individual results and preferences may vary. If not sure where to start, consider starting with one honest enough to have a diaper (not just a baby) shown on the box, such as Balmex®. Since they don't need to provide a durable barrier, they might be easier to get off fingers. However, they will still foul tapes if they get on the adhesive or taping surface.

The downside of oils and creams

In addition to not providing that fragrant cloud, creams and oils are less than ideal in other ways. For ABDLs wearing disposables, the creams and oils will cripple adhesive tapes if they get on either your fingers or the diaper front. If just protecting the crotch, you can tape the diaper on first, and then apply the creams or gels through the leg gathers.

Most creams, etc. are oil or wax-based, and so will degrade plastic pants over time.

Too thin a cream might not protect you from chaffing if you are active. Too thick a cream might take too much scouring to get off at bathtime.

Other treatments

Since ABDLs aren't in a crib or nursery all day, diapers aren't our only sources of rash. As a result, we should give some thought (sigh) to solutions in different aisles.

One example already mentioned is Gold Bond® body powder. The talc with menthol is a bit like a sprinkled-on cough drop. One quirk is that the exposure to the menthol depends on the amount of amount of power and fluid. As a result, it is possible to load up lots of powder when dry, without the "cooling" sensation. When dry, the menthol wouldn't be able to flow from the powder into the skin. Then when you start to sweat, the menthol concentration spikes, giving a burning sensation. Use moderation when applying.

For cyclists, there are also chamois butters. These lubricants avoid chafing during rides and might help toughen the skin. They might sting a bit after application. When off the bike, about.com recommends that cyclists use a diaper rash cream for chaffing rashes (but not road rashes).

In case of rashes...

It is often joked that the most dangerous, direct medical risk of being an ABDL is that of diaper rash. While seldom fatal, ABDLs should treat rashes aggressively. Not only can a simple rash degenerate into something more painful and harder to treat, but opportunistic infections might set in. This might involve a trip to the doctor and some awkward questions.

Air is commonly considered to be the gold standard for healing rashes. Unlike many diaper wearers, ABDLs who aren't incontinent will have the option of setting aside the diaper until things clear up.

While recovering, try to find and eliminate any diaper-related causes. These may include binding leg gathers or a staying too long in wet or messy diapers. You might also need to deal with other causes, such as chafing while exercising.

With care, diaper rash should clear up in a week or two.

- Updated:20 May 2014  1st:20 May 2014     

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