The Story behind HorsePlay’s new Fix-it Cream SPF25.
Looking after two big horses with pink noses (prone to sunburn) and white socks (prone to mud fever) was a year-round challenge for us.
In spite of using sun guards on their noses, their white nose and lips were still getting burnt in summer. In winter, it felt like mud fever was a constant battle we couldn’t win – and the horses clearly found the mud fever painful, especially having the scabs removed. We tried pretty much everything on the market but nothing worked well at all. Sunblocks didn’t survive being rubbed off on grass while grazing or washed off while drinking and various remedies to treat mud fever were never that great.
So, we decided to make our own treatment!
Now this may sound a little ambitious but it actually made sense. My wife, Teresa is a medical doctor (Cosmetic Physician), a skin expert with her own skincare range called FaceWorks (faceworks.co.nz). Teresa researched “mud fever” and found it has a lot in common with the eczema she frequently saw patients with.
With eczema in humans and mud fever in horses, essentially the barrier function of the skin is reduced, in the horses’ case by either chronically wet skin and/or minor abrasions from sand or dirt/mud. If the integrity of the skin is disrupted, it becomes irritated and inflamed, forming crusty lesions, diagnosed as “eczema”. When the skin is unable to function as a barrier it is easy for various bacteria (Staphylococcus spp. and Dermatophilus congolensis) and fungi to infect the areas of broken skin, causing swelling, inflammation and pain.
We wanted something to soften and painlessly remove the mud fever scabs while reducing the inflammatory response and helping the affected skin to heal. The product also had to provide good sun protection plus it had to really “stick” not only to lips and noses but to the lower legs even in rain and wet grass. We also wanted it to be as “natural” as possible, in line with the rest of our skin care range.
Having developed two very effective and very popular sunblocks for the FaceWorks skincare range (Environmental Protector SPF30 and FaceWorks Primer SPF30), it was a logical step to take the same technology and expertise and apply it to our horses. The result is “Fix-it Cream SPF25”.
The essential ingredient in Fix-it Cream SPF25 is zinc – a naturally occurring mineral which not only functions as a broad-spectrum sunblock (protecting against UVA and UVB) but also has anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties. The moisturising base containing silicone, softens scabs so they can literally be gently and painlessly rubbed off, and the Fix-it Cream then acts as a waterproof barrier cream. We added Aloe vera and Vitamin E to soothe and help heal inflamed skin.
The days of trying to remove extensive areas of mud fever scabs from our unhappy ponies are long gone. At the first sign of a tiny patch of mud fever we rub in some Fix-it Cream, 24 hours later the scab will gently rub off and that seems to stop it in its tracks. And no more sunburned noses or lips – this cream absolutely sticks!!