New Purelan™: Natural, Safe, and Effective Lanolin to Improve Sore Nipples While Breastfeeding

Kathleen Quellen, RN, BSN / February 2021

Why Do Sore Nipples While Breastfeeding Occur?

Over 60% of moms experience sore nipples and that typically occurs in the very beginning of breastfeeding due to different reasons, such as:

  • Latching on the breast incorrectly
  • Increased nipple sensitivity during nursing
  • New and frequent stress to the nipples, reducing the skin's natural moisture barrier

As nurses, we have all worked with moms frustrated over breastfeeding and some of the most common complaints are lack of milk and nipple pain. A new product on the market from Medela is working to improve moms’ early breastfeeding experience and help solve the issue of sore and cracked nipples. 

Moms deserve to breastfeed without having to suffer any pain and many moms from all over the globe look to nipple creams for pain relief. Medela has been an expert in nipple cream and, since 2002, Purelan™ has been a Medela product. In 2019 alone, over 2.5 million moms chose Medela as their cream of choice. Now in 2021, Purelan has been released with a brand-new formula and design. It is made with medical-grade lanolin and has only a single ingredient (that’s 100% natural too). It is safe and effective with no additives, preservatives, or fragrances. An advanced purification technology gives the lanolin a more neutral smell and taste, and has no impact on baby acceptance.

How Does Purelan Help Relieve Sore Nipples While Breastfeeding?

The viscous properties of Purelan help create a protective barrier on the skin’s surface, reinforcing its natural defenses against external stresses and then reduces trans-epidermal water loss. Purelan is absorbed deeply by the skin and holds water, mimicking the skin’s natural sebum to rebalance moisture levels. The natural chemistry of Purelan contains complex esters, lipids, sterols, and free lanolin alcohols that mimic the skin’s surface chemistry. It is actually absorbed into the stratum corneum (outer layer of skin, epidermis) and acts with moisturizing effects. Purelan’s rich texture creates a protective layer on the skin’s surface to rehydrate skin from within and relieve nipple soreness, while healing skin naturally.

Purelan is hypoallergenic, but it doesn't guarantee 100% non-allergic reaction. If someone is allergic to lanolin, they should avoid using Purelan and any other lanolin cream. Otherwise, research shows that medical-grade lanolin is safe to be used topically to treat sore nipples while breastfeeding.

What is Lanolin?

If you did not know, lanolin is natural sheep wool wax and Purelan is obtained and purified with advanced technology to reach the highest industry standards.

Lanolin (from Latin lāna 'wool', and oleum 'oil' or wool oil), also called wool yolk, wool wax, or wool grease, is a wax secreted by the sebaceous glands of wool-bearing animals. Lanolin used by humans comes from domestic sheep breeds that are raised specifically for their wool. Lanolin's waterproofing property aids sheep in shedding water from their coats. Certain breeds of sheep produce large amounts of lanolin. Lanolin's role in nature is to protect wool and skin from the climate and the environment; it also plays a role in skin (integumental) hygiene.  Lanolin and its derivatives are used in the protection, treatment, and beautification of human skin. With that in mind, Purelan has a traceable supply chain for its lanolin and sources from mulesing-free farms in New Zealand (which are farms that do not remove strips of the sheep’s wool-bearing skin).

The new formulation has a lighter color, softer texture, more neutral smell and taste, glides on smoothly, and can be easily dispensed in small amounts. The lighter color and neutral smell are from extra filtration.  Note the big color difference between the old formula (on the left) and the new, clearer Purelan™ (on the right):

How Can I Get Samples of Purelan for My Patients?

In summary, Purelan is a single ingredient, 100% natural lanolin cream formulated to provide relief for sore nipples and dry skin. Made of ultra-pure medical-grade lanolin, Purelan is highly effective and safe for nursing moms and babies - with no need to remove before feeding. It is dermatologically tested, hypoallergenic, suitable for sensitive skins, and from ethically sourced farms.

Purelan is available in 7g and 37g tubes – Be sure to request a sample from your Medela representative!

About the Author

Kathleen Quellen, RN, BSN, has been a NICU/PICU RN since 1981. She has worked in hospitals all over the U.S., including Georgetown University Hospital, DC Children’s, Cedars Sinai and Children’s Hospital of NJ.  She worked as a Clinical Specialist for Abbott Labs/Hospira and has been a NICU Clinical Specialist for Medela LLC since 2014. She covers hospitals all throughout the western United States.