Community Curated • Updated 03, 2019
As a new parent, you’ll bound to encounter all kinds of more or less inconvenient situations that you’ll little one will have to go through. Diaper rash is one such very common problem that a lot of babies face since their skin is so delicate and gentle in the early months and years of their life.
This means that it’s very likely when you open your baby’s diaper at one point, you’ll be greeted with a reddish, sore baby bum. Diaper rash occurs very often in babies - it’s a skin irritation that is caused by a combination of moisture and friction from the diapers, as well as the bacteria that comes from the baby’s bowel movements. Sometimes, certain ingredients in baby wash products and diapers can also cause diaper rash.
This is where diaper rash creams come in very handy. Diaper rash creams can spare your baby from further irritation, as well as potential flare-ups in the future. They can also soothe the already present symptoms of diaper rash and provide them with relief and a more durable diaper rash experience.
Finding the right diaper rash cream for your little one’s bum can be a confusing experience, having in mind all the products present on the market right now. That’s why we’ve created this handy product guide where we’ve chosen the best diaper rash creams you can find, and also try to provide you with as much essential info on them as we can. At the same time, we’re also trying to answer different kinds of questions on diaper rash creams, questions you may not have had the chance to see answered before. Our goal is to care for babies and direct their parents into getting the best products they can for their little ones, thus providing them with the best and most comfortable experience possible in their delicate baby days.
For more info on causes of baby diaper rash, check out our text we’ve written on the subject here. For a more general article on baby rashes, follow this link. Also, make sure to go through the treatments and home remedies article for additional info on baby diaper rash relief.
Not as well known as other products on our list, the A & D Diaper Rash Ointment is still worth considering, especially because it’s often recommended by pediatricians and that definitely says something. This cream is directed towards diaper rash prevention, which means it has a particularly effective system of forming a protective barrier on the skin and sealing out wetness. That’s why it’s also best to apply it at night so you can prevent the emergence of soggy diapers and thus a high chance of irritated baby skin. But of course, this cream works as effectively in treating an already present outbreak of diaper rash, giving your little one’s bum a chance to heal fast. It’s also a pretty convenient product for minor cuts and burns, which means that your baby is not the only one that can reap its benefits! Its active ingredients are lanolin and petrolatum, effective ointments and skin protectants - other ingredients include vitamin A and D, cod liver oil, microcrystalline wax and a couple of others some parents might not be too happy with, such as light mineral oil, paraffin, and fragrance, although it’s largely free from the usual boogeymen (sulfates, phthalate, dyes, parabens aluminum). A lot of parents on Amazon have been very vocal about it’s barrier-creation abilities and how successful it is in isolating moisture. This also makes it a great product for babies with harder cases of diaper rash.
An Amazon’s Choice recommendation, Honest’s Diaper Rash Cream is one of the most effective and immediate ways to alleviate the symptoms of diaper rash. This excellent formula is NSF (National Science Foundation) certified and works quickly and effectively on diaper rash affected areas. It’s free from all the stuff you don’t want hanging out on your baby’s skin, or potentially entering their system. It’s paraben free, and it doesn’t contain any synthetic fragrances, silicones, petrolatum, mineral oils, or PEGs. Honest’s Diaper Rash Cream is quite gentle on the sensitive baby skin - the Honest Company only uses organic and clean ingredients in their products that are easily absorbed into the skin. That’s why in this wonderful blend you can find good old coconut oil, jojoba oil, and shea butter, all in the good fight against skin irritation, using their moisturizing superpowers to immediately soothe skin, unclog pores and increase hydration. The presence of tamanu oil - antibacterial in nature - is another great addition for battling skin inflammation. This cream also contains non-nano zinc oxide, ensuring that there are no microscopic particles otherwise present in zinc oxide to penetrate deeper than the surface of the skin, which makes this cream extremely gentle and extra-safe. The way the Honest Diaper Rash works is by forming a protective layer over the baby’s skin which immediately gives relief to the irritated place and jump-starts the healing process. This protective layer also works wonders on isolating the sore skin from further discomfort, keeping it safe from the irritation often caused by sweat and bacteria inside the diaper. Parents have been very vocal in praising the quick effectiveness of this cream. So if you have a burning diaper rash that your baby is currently struggling with, don’t hesitate or wait any second longer, the Honest Company Diaper Rash Cream might just be the thing you need!
We won’t overreact if we say that the Aquaphor ointment is a superstar among products of its kind. This is also confirmed by the fact that it’s a number one bestseller in the baby lotions category on Amazon, while also holding a mighty high number of Amazon customer reviews (great ones by the way!). Hailed as a cure for everything by one Amazon reviewer, praising its eczema-soothing and healing properties, the Aquaphor ointment is truly a skin-saver, especially if you happen to live in places with harsher weather conditions. Its active ingredient is petrolatum, present in 41% which is a highly effective skin protectant and soother - it coats the skin and helps it stay hydrated by retaining the skin’s own moisture. Another important ingredient is the panthenol, which is a derivative of vitamin B, a great skin nutrient that helps it stay hydrated, while also facilitating the healing process. The third ingredient we mustn’t fail mentioning is glycerin - like the petroleum, it also helps to lock-in moisture and also successfully softens the skin. With all these soothing and healing powerhouses present, it’s no wonder that Aquaphor is so effective and unique in how it manages to take care of young, delicate skin. From drool rash to diaper rash, from dry hands and cuticles to minor cuts and scrapes, this balm is safe to use all over your baby’s body. Aquaphor doesn’t contain antibiotics like some other ointments out there, which can sometimes act as irritants, or be downright harmful in the long run for your little one’s body. Great for adults as well, it’s highly recommended that you use it if you have dry or cracked skin, chapped lips from extreme weather, as well as cracked cuticles or dry feet and heels.
The Cetaphil company has a number of good-quality babycare products and has been a trusted brand for quite a while now. Although not as popular as other creams on our list, the Cetaphil baby diaper cream still has a lot to offer. Without a doubt, its greatest asset is the zinc oxide - one of the best ingredients you could wish for when it comes to creams that treat skin irritations. Carefully blended with the organic calendula and vitamins B5 and E, the Cetaphil diaper cream creates the perfect protective barrier on your baby’s irritated bum - the emollient layer will guard your baby’s skin against wetness throughout the whole day. This hypoallergenic cream is free from a lot of the usual suspects, various additives such as parabens, colorants and mineral oil. Combined with other Cetaphil products (lotion, shampoo, wash) it forms a great team that will make sure your little one’s whole body is clean, soothed and protected. Things to consider: customer reviewers on Amazon have noted how its consistency is a little thinner than other similar products - some have even noted that this might be a cream more suitable for milder rashes and diaper-rash prevention, and that stronger, thicker pastes and creams might be more suitable for more serious outbreaks.
Besides the funny name and the cute, retro packaging, this butt paste has got a lot of other things to offer as well. A trusted brand for over 40 years, and developed by a pharmacist, the Boudreaux diaper balm is another parents’ favorite that helps them effectively and safely protect their little ones from diaper rash and other kinds of skin irritations. This thick paste contains 40% zinc oxide - a highly effective mineral that treats various skin conditions like rashes, burns and similar skin irritations. The great thing about the Boudreaux balm is that it actually contains the highest amount of zinc oxide that’s available over the counter, meaning you always get maximum protection for your baby with the Boudreaux. It’s also one of those products that have the least amount of total ingredients - and we all know in products like these, the less ingredients there are, the better it is for everybody. Free from unwanted ingredients such as parabens, preservatives, talc, and dyes, this clinically tested formula is perfectly safe to use on your baby’s irritated bum. Try to use it on a daily basis, and you’ll notice how it will also prevent further diaper rash outbreaks.
Diaper rash is a common nuisance in the early months of your baby’s life. But, luckily, we’ve got a nice variety of high-quality products that you can choose from, such as the Earth Mama, so you won’t have to worry that your baby’s gonna have to go through any more skin irritation outbreaks, or feel uneasy when wearing a diaper. The Earth Mama is a certified organic, non-GMO diaper balm, that doesn’t contain anything that might be even remotely dangerous for your baby’s organism: no parabens, petroleum or any kinds of artificial fragrances are part of the Earth Mama balm formula. The soothing properties of organic oils and herbal extracts, especially the calendula and organic beeswax, will make sure to ease the areas already irritated by the diaper, but will also help to prevent from further flare-ups. Just apply a thin spread of this wonderful balm after each change and also after a bath, and you’ll get effective results in no time. The great thing about this diaper balm is that it’s not actually solely a diaper balm - it’s much more than that! The Earth Mama also functions perfectly well as a skin salve. You can see it as a herbal remedy that will do wonders for different kinds of skin irritations or injuries, such as burns, rashes, cuts, scrapes, and also bug bites. We’re sure you’ll find this Earth Mama balm convenient for your whole family, and not just for your little one’s bum!
One of the oldest skincare companies (founded in 1921!), Weleda has kept a consistent pace in keeping up with the newest trends and needs in organic, natural skincare products. A frequent name among baby creams and washes, it has been a favorite of moms for decades, and this cream is no exception, especially among moms who have little ones with severe outbreaks of diaper rash. Weleda Calendula Diaper Care is a winner of the Parent Tested, Parent Approved Award and is certified natural by the European organization NATURE. As you can expect, it’s also free from fragrances, colorants, synthetic preservatives and raw materials that are derived from mineral oils. No wonder then that this gentle and effective cream immediately relieves the already existing diaper rash and prevents from further outbreaks. Organic calendula and chamomile, one of the consistently present ingredients in Weleda products, along with sweet almond oil and sweet sesame oil, act as skin-reliefs, soothing the irritated areas, making it silky soft and alleviating any previous discomfort. The presence of pharmaceutical grade zinc oxide and lanolin is there to provide an effective barrier against moisture. All of this in combination makes for one perfect product that can soothe even the most irritated of skins. Just apply it to the whole diaper area after careful cleaning at every diaper change and see the results for yourself!
This is another product that has frequented our lists. Hailing its thick formula, parent’s have loved Burt’s Bees ointment, consistently praising it as a great product for highly sensitive skin, using it to treat diaper rash, but noting its efficacy in treating eczema as well. Have no doubt that with this diaper ointment your baby’s bottom will be kept soft and dry. Great for both treating and preventing diaper rash, Burt’s Bees uses a 100% natural formula to effectively protect young skin prone to irritations - no parabens, petrolatum, phthalates or SLS are ever used in this ointment. What’s more, customers have been very content with its light, refreshing scent that comes from the natural ingredients present in the formula. This is another product on our list that contains high quantities of zinc oxide - in fact, the highest amount possible for an over-the-counter product, which is 40%. Along with a variety of oils such as sweet almond oil, lavender oil, jojoba seed oil, and olive oil, as well as shea butter and calendula flower extract, Burt’s Bees formula will surely not let your baby's bum down at any time. Besides treating an already present outbreak, as well as preventing the onset of further ones, it’s also pretty successful in revitalizing the frequently irritated skin, making it more resistant in the future. Some customers have noted that it’s not really cloth diaper friendly as it tends to make stains that are rather hard to clean (this has mainly to do with the presence of zinc).
Diaper rash is very easy to apply. First, you have to make sure that the area affected by the diaper rash is dry before you go on and slather the diaper rash cream. Apply the cream of choice gently over the affected area. Don’t wipe the cream off between diaper changes - only make sure that the place is dry enough so you can put the fresh, new diaper on your baby’s bum.
What are the types of diaper rash creams?
You can find two main types of diaper rash creams or ointments:
Products that are petroleum-based (the good, old petroleum jelly or Aquaphor and A&D on our list)
Products that are based on zinc-oxide
Different combinations work for different baby bums, and this means that you’ll sometimes have to go through several different products in order to find the right one that’ll work best for your little one.
Creams and ointments that treat diaper rash act as physical barriers, protecting your baby’s tush from the irritation-causing bacteria in their poop, but also from further friction that the diaper itself may cause them.
Some of the most effective ingredients used for diaper rash are zinc oxide, aloe vera, and calendula, lanolin, petrolatum, lavender oil, almond oil, shea butter, among others.
You should keep away from products that are perfumed or are heavily fragranced, which can sometimes bother the baby and even cause more irritation to the affected area. Stay away from baby powder as well, since the AAP (American Association of Pediatricians) has recommended against its use.
Usually, creams and pastes which have a thicker consistency are better suited for soothing already existing rashes, or ones that are more severe. Diaper rash ointments are better for preventing more diaper rash flare-ups in the future.
Fighting a severe baby diaper rash requires of you to keep your little one’s skin dry and clean as often as possible. This also means that it’s good to give that irritated bum a little bit of air throughout the day, so the skin can have time to breathe.
If the diaper rash remains severe and is persistent, despite treating it with a cream or home remedy, you should check with a doctor. The doctor or pediatrician may prescribe you a mild hydrocortisone (steroid) cream, or antifungal cream, since the persistence of the rash may also be indicative of a fungal infection.
Diaper rashes are one of the most common irritations babies experience in their early years of life, and it’s really not a big deal - it’s not a dangerous skin irritation, just inconvenient and uncomfortable for the little one. But, with proper care - a bit of air, regular hygiene and a good choice of diaper rash cream - it will go away in no time.
So when you see that red, itchy, irritated bum next time you do a diaper change, you don’t have to beat yourself over it - just make sure to reach for one of the diaper rash creams on our list and let it do its magic.