By RACHEL KRAUSE
JANUARY 16, 2018
On the grand hierarchy of potential problems a person can have in life, eczema may seem relatively low on the list. But the common condition, which presents itself as red, itchy, inflamed skin, can become so painful and debilitating in severe cases that skin can ooze, crack, and bleed. Understandably, people are willing to do crazy things to cure it: take cold showers, slather on petroleum jelly over high-strength topical steroids, bathe in bleach.
But there’s one effective remedy that some eczema sufferers swear by that only sounds weird. Originally created to soothe and soften the overworked udders of dairy cows, udder cream is exactly what it sounds like — but it actually has a pretty extensive history as a treatment for roughed-up human skin, too.
The notable example might just be in Vermont's Original Bag Balm, the iconic green aluminum tin that stashes a simple four-ingredient blend of petrolatum, lanolin, 8-hydroxyquinoline sulfate (an antiseptic and preservative), and paraffin wax. As the company's origin story goes, Bag Balm came to be in 1900, when a Vermont farmer named John L. Norris “saddled his best horse and rode 30 long miles” to track down a rumored “miraculous salve for chafed and cracked cow udders.”
In the 118 years since that long and fateful ride, Bag Balm has been used on the driest of skin in the coldest of weather, on cuts, calluses, and chapped lips. ...