Choosing the Best Diaper Rash Cream for Your Baby

Diaper rash, also known as diaper dermatitis, refers to skin irritation and inflammation of the diaper-covered region of the skin. Frequent use of diaper rash ointments and creams can prove to be an effective barrier against skin irritants and lessen the friction. This Buzzle article provides a guide on how to choose a diaper rash cream that will help your baby stay rash-free.
Ingredients to look for in diaper rash cream
Quick Tip
Allow the child to remain diaper-free, for a while everyday, after bathing and in between diaper changes. This will keep the diaper area dry and prevent rash.
Diaper rash is troublesome, to say the least. Many diapered babies get a painful and irritating diaper rash at some or the other time. In fact, diaper rash is the most common dermatological condition in children and babies in the United States. The prolonged exposure to wetness combined with the closed environment of the diaper make it extremely easy for a child to get rash. Thankfully, there are many diaper rash creams that can provide relief. These creams help in alleviating the symptoms of diaper rash such as redness, flaking, and sensitivity.

With a myriad of creams in the market, choosing the cream that works well for the baby, can be difficult. Moreover, if you use cloth diapers, then you have to buy diaper creams that are safe for cloth diapers, since normal zinc oxide diaper creams repel water which can cause leaks. Here is a guide to choosing the best diaper cream for baby rash.

What to Look for in a Diaper Rash Cream


Zinc Oxide
The main ingredient in almost all diaper creams is zinc oxide. It acts as a barrier between the child's delicate, soft skin and the irritant. It protects against minor skin irritations and abrasions. Usually, moderate concentrations of around 15% are used for preventing and reducing diaper rash. AVEENO Baby Soothing Relief Diaper Rash Cream is a great product if you are looking for a diaper rash cream with zinc oxide as an active ingredient.

A by-product of wool production, lanolin is the oily substance that is found in sheep wool. It clears stubborn rash and soothes dry, itchy skin. If you are looking for a diaper rash cream with lanolin, then do check out some excellent diaper rash creams such as Lansinoh Diaper Rash Ointment and California Baby Therapeutic Relief Diaper Rash Cream.

This is a time-proven ingredient in diaper rash creams. This OTC emollient for diaper rash forms a barrier between the baby's skin and the diaper by trapping water beneath the epidermis. It relieves minor skin irritations and rash discomfort while protecting against chafed skin and wetness. Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment is an excellent diaper rash cream with petrolatum as an active ingredient.

Other safe ingredients in diaper rash creams include beeswax, calendula, chamomile oil, olive oil, shea butter, jojoba seed oil, oat extracts, cod liver oil, almond oil, and sunflower seed oil. If the diaper rash is caused by yeast infection, then you would need an over-the-counter antifungal cream to treat the infection. In case of severe diaper rash, hydrocortisone cream (1%) can be used twice a day.

You also need to watch out for some harmful chemicals in diaper rash creams. These include:

Parabens (Propylparaben, Methylparaben)
Sodium Borate
BHA (Butylated hydroxyanisole)
Retinyl palmitate


Look for a cream that has a thick and rich consistency. You should be able to spread it over the baby's skin to form a layer which will act as a barrier between the baby and the diaper. The thicker, creamy consistency also ensures that the cream does not easily rub off on to the diaper each time the baby needs a diaper change.

Provides a Cooling Sensation

The discomfort and itching caused due to the rash can be extremely troublesome. Moreover, when the bodily fluids work on the irritated skin, the discomfort can increase manifold. The diaper rash cream that you choose should provide immediate relief from this discomfort. Some creams, such as the California Baby Diaper Rash Cream, contain French lavender, which is known for its soothing and healing properties, while Calmoseptine Ointment contains menthol as an active ingredient to provide a cooling sensation.


A waterproof barrier between the baby's skin and the diaper ensures fewer rashes and skin problems. The diaper rash cream should repel water so as to protect the baby's skin against dampness, which, in turn, leads to a painful rash. Creams such as Sudocrem have a water-repellent base made of oils and waxes that shield the skin against irritation, and provide a barrier against the wetness caused by urine.

Approved by Pediatricians and Dermatologists

Look for a product that has been tested and approved by dermatologists and pediatricians. If you are using strong diaper rash creams with steroids, then do make it a point to consult your pediatrician or a dermatologist about how to use the product.

Packaging and Price

An easy-to-use pack is definitely attractive especially when you have to pin down a squealing kid on the changing table and apply the cream. Tubes with flip-top caps are very popular. However, you can always find some creams in jars as well. Of course, you will need to check the price as well. You may be tempted to choose a high-priced diaper cream, but considering your baby needs a diaper change after every hour, you will definitely be shelling out a lot more. Choose a good diaper rash cream which not only works well, but is also priced nominally.

Compatible with Cloth Diapers

There are many moms who want to switch to cloth diapers that are not only environmentally-friendly, but also great for preventing rash caused by the chemicals in disposable diapers. Unfortunately, what many moms do not know that cloth diapers and many diaper rash creams do not necessarily go hand-in-hand. The traditional diaper rash creams contain ingredients, such as petroleum jelly, calamine, and cod liver oil, that tend to coat the fibers of the cloth diapers and repel urine, resulting in leaks.

It is best to buy diaper rash creams that are cloth diaper safe. These creams and salves contain ingredients, such as olive oil, shea butter, and lanolin, that are not very greasy or thick, and rinse away easily in the regular hot wash cycle of the washing machine. Here is a list of some great creams that can be used with cloth diapers.

Earth Mama Angel Baby Angel Baby Bottom Balm
CJ's BUTTer Jar
Motherlove Diaper Rash & Thrush
GroVia Magic Stick Diaper Balm

Choosing a good diaper rash cream will help in preventing and even treating the nasty rash. Frequent diaper changes, using alcohol-free wipes, and keeping the baby dry will help in preventing diaper rash. If the rash starts bleeding or is persistent, do call your pediatrician and check for infections.
Published: December 30, 2013
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