Had to laugh when I read this
ORANGE, Texas -- When Amber Branch first saw Boudreaux's Butt Paste, she laughed. Now, she swears by it.
Branch, lead teacher at Circle K Kiddie Ranch Daycare, came across the diaper rash treatment about 18 months ago when a parent brought the cream in for her son. The boy, then about 10 months old, had a rash that peeled and bled. After one day in the care of Boudreaux, the little man was well.
"It's amazing," said Branch, 23, of Orange.
About a dozen of 100 children at the day care now arrive with a jar or tube of the paste.
Women at the kiddie ranch recommend the product often to parents, but they catch a fair amount of blank stares or laughs at the suggestion.
"Parents will look at you like you are stupid because of what you just said," said child care provider Tera Wilson.
Butt paste creator George Boudreaux of Covington, La., receives phone calls and e-mails from happy customers every day, he said in a recent phone interview. The 56-year-old knows the name attracts attention, but he said the product's quality keeps customers loyal.
The over-the-counter balm is approved for treating diaper rash and as a skin protectant, but Boudreaux said people have also effectively used it for acne, razor burn, bedsores, chicken pox, poison ivy, chapped lips, hemorrhoids and skin irritations, among other ailments.
Boudreaux believes the key ingredient is Peruvian balsam, which increases blood flow to wounds.
Boudreaux, a former pharmacist in Covington, first came across the paste while working with Louisiana physician Pappy Talbot. Boudreaux worked up the paste according to Talbot's instructions. After the doctor's death, Boudreaux continued to compound it.
In about 1985, a Louisiana pediatrician called Boudreaux laughing. A woman had just come in and wanted "Some of George Boudreaux's butt paste." The name stuck.
Boudreaux has fun with the name. He sells T-shirts, baseball caps and bibs at trade shows and on the Internet. His Web site contains a new item -- a bobblehead doll named "Booty" for $15.
Tubes and tubs of the putty-colored paste come emblazoned with "Boudreaux's Butt Paste" in big red letters and a smiling baby on containers.
"People think it's a joke," he said.
During the SBC Cotton Bowl Classic last year a television news team taped live from the buttmobile, Boudreaux's automobile, which is plastered in butt paste advertisements.
The product has been the butt of jokes on television talk shows with Jay Leno and Al Roker.
Boudreaux backs up his product with a list of celebrity fans, which spans from the LSU football team to Los Angeles Lakers center Shaquille O'Neal.
Sales, however, have become serious. So far this year, Boudreaux has sold $2 million of paste, which goes for $24.99 online for a one-pound tub. He began marketing and selling the butt paste full-time three years ago.
The business took off in the mid-1990s when Food and Drug Administration regulations forced him to stop it in the pharmacy. For years he sold the product by prescription, but recently found a New Orleans manufacturer to take butt paste to the next level. It's now set to go national.
The product remains most popular in its home state, but Boudreaux plans to introduce all Americans to his butt paste.
Currently, the product is available in about 450 Wal-Marts throughout the country, Boudreaux said. In the next few months the product will be available at all Wal-Marts, which according to a company spokesman is about 2,900 stores.
Helen Mullens at Malley's Pharmacy in Beaumont said Boudreaux's is not the most popular diaper rash ointment, but she likes to order it. It makes her laugh. She keeps two tubs and two boxes in stock at all times.
"People just walk up here and laugh and laugh and laugh," she said. "I think people buy it because its funny."
Although the product is not available at all pharmacies, Boudreaux said a pharmacy can order the cream overnight from wholesalers.
Every so often, Boudreaux hears from someone upset by his product's name. He tries to talk them down -- often with success -- but he can't please everyone.
"Usually we can win them over, but some just need to get a life," he said.