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Best Diaper Rash Creams of 2024
January 22, 2024

Best Diaper Rash Creams of 2024

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Best Diaper Rash Creams of 2024.
Best Diaper Rash Creams of 2024

Diaper rash can happen whether you’re using disposable diapers or going the cloth route, and it’s no picnic for babies…or parents, for that matter. While many cases are mild, others can make for very unhappy campers on the changing table. A diaper rash cream can help ease the uncomfortable symptoms of diaper rash, help it heal and provide a barrier that helps prevent it from developing.

There are a lot of different diaper creams and ointments on the market and it can be tricky for new parents to figure out what’ll work best for their baby. So we’ve rounded up our favorite diaper rash creams and explained the differences to help you choose. And a pro tip: diaper cream is one of a few baby products that are HSA/FSA eligible.

Babylist’s Top Picks for The Best Diaper Rash Cream

Babylist’s Picks for the Best Diaper Rash Cream

Best All-Around Diaper Rash Cream

Developed by a pharmacist who wanted an effective, safe product for his kids and customers, Boudreaux’s delivers fast-acting rash relief and a thick barrier of protection against future rashes—sans the harsh chemicals. It contains 40 percent zinc oxide as the active ingredient for maximum rash protection, and it’s free from dyes, parabens, talc and preservatives. There’s a natural version too, which is free of petroleum jelly and made with aloe vera.

Best Maximum-Strength Diaper Rash Cream

Desitin’s Maximum Strength formula contains a high percentage of zinc oxide (40 percent), which is the strongest level for an over-the-counter diaper rash treatment. Parents turn to this powerful, ultra-thick paste to come to the rescue during peak discomfort.

Best Organic Diaper Rash Cream

Although it’s called a “diaper balm,” this herbal remedy helps heal all sorts of ailments, including rashes, burns, cuts, scrapes and bug bites. Made with organic oils, herbal extracts and botanicals, this non-sticky first aid salve works wonders on the whole family. Although it’s a small container, a little goes a long way in relieving and warding off diaper rash. It’s also a great pick for families that use cloth diapers since it easily washes out of fabric.

Best Diaper Rash Cream for Severe Diaper Rash

Any parent who’s faced a raging case of diaper rash (and a very unhappy baby) wants one thing: instant relief. Thanks to the fast-acting formula that was developed based on prescription diaper creams, Triple Paste is a saving grace for sore bottoms. The extra-thick cream is fragrance-free, hypoallergenic and can be used for all diaper changes, not just worst-case scenarios.

Best Diaper Rash Cream Spray

Tired of scraping white, pasty diaper rash cream from under your fingernails? Try this diaper cream spray. One or two quick pumps is all you need to spray this zinc oxide-based cream all over your baby’s bum. Pro tip: it’s extra awesome for travel or anytime you’re changing a diaper away from home.

Best Natural Diaper Rash Cream

This plant-based rash reliever isn’t a cream—it’s more of a silky balm, a lot like the kind you’d put on your chapped lips in the winter. It’s our favorite option if you’re looking to avoid petrolatum (petroleum jelly) and zinc oxide. Instead, it’s made with extra virgin olive oil, beeswax, Oregon grape root (an antibacterial herb), myrrh gum (an anti-inflammatory herb), yarrow herb and calendula flower.

Best Diaper Rash Cream for Newborns

Sometimes the best way to prevent diaper rash is to treat it before it ever starts—and this popular ointment from parent-favorite brand Aquaphor does the trick right from day one. This multipurpose skin solution can be used at every diaper change to help prevent a rash from ever beginning. It’s also great for your baby’s skin needs like chapped cheeks and minor scrapes and scratches.

Best Budget-Friendly Diaper Rash Cream

A lot of people think of A+D Ointment when they think of healing ointment, probably because it’s been around for over 80 years! Not only is this petrolatum-plus-lanolin combo great for diaper rash, it’s also good for burns, tattoo aftercare and just about anywhere on your skin or baby’s (including chapped lips!). But the thing parents love best about it (besides that it’s the longest-running diaper rash cream on the market): it’s really easy on the wallet.

Best Diaper Rash Cream for Cloth Diapers

Esembly’s zinc-based cream is designed to heal and soothe painful diaper rashes. The organic and all-natural ingredients create a barrier on your baby’s irritated skin, giving it a chance to heal. It’s also made by a popular cloth diapering brand, meaning it’ll thoroughly wash out of reusable diapers.

Best Diaper Rash Cream for Sensitive Skin

Crafted with the most sensitive skin in mind, this hypoallergenic, plant-based cream is free of basically everything you may want to avoid for babies with sensitive skin—including lanolin and petroleum jelly. Colloidal oatmeal helps calm irritated skin and its active ingredient, zinc oxide, creates a barrier between baby’s skin and their diaper, making this an effective solution for both treating and preventing diaper rash. It’s also Environmental Working Group (EWG) certified for clean ingredients.

How We Choose Our Best Diaper Rash Cream Picks

We asked thousands of real Babylist families about the baby products they love the most, then took the top products they shared with us and added our own research and insight to tell you about the best diaper rash creams.

Types of Diaper Rashes

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, there are four common types of diaper rashes:

  • Irritant diaper rash. This is the most common type of diaper rash and is caused by your baby’s skin being in continuous contact with urine or stool. It looks like pink or red patches on your baby’s skin where it’s in contact with the diaper.
  • Yeast infection. This type of diaper rash is caused by a fungus found naturally in your baby’s digestive tract. A yeast infection rash will often look like shiny, bright red or pink patches with sharp edges. There also may be pink bumps or even sores or cracking skin in some (rare) instances.
  • Bacteria. Also called impetigo, certain types of bacteria can also be a cause of diaper rash. (Staph and strep are two common ones.) Clues that your baby’s diaper rash may be bacterial include bright red skin around the anus or yellow crusting, weeping or pimples.
  • Allergy. Sensitive skin is very common in babies. Things like fragrances or specific ingredients in diapers, wipes and creams may cause your baby’s skin to react. Look for irritation.

How to Treat Diaper Rash

The best way to treat diaper rash is to head it off before it happens and take action as soon as you see any signs of it.

For irritant diaper rash, the most common type, here are a few steps you can take:

  • Change diapers often to avoid long contact with moisture.
  • Make sure your little one’s bum is completely dry before putting on a new diaper. (Blowing lightly on the area or patting it with a dry cloth can help speed this along.)
  • Apply diaper cream at every diaper change to create a protective barrier that keeps moisture out.
  • Treat diaper rashes with cream at the first sign to soothe and calm red skin.
  • Go diaper-free for a really uncomfortable rash. (This can get messy, but sometimes a bare bottom is necessary and really does the trick.)

If you’re dealing with a yeast infection, make sure you’re washing your hands well before and after each diaper change. You also may need a topical antifungal cream from your pediatrician.

If you suspect an allergy-related diaper rash, try switching brands of diapers, wipes and/or diaper cream to see if the rash improves. Sometimes it takes a few weeks for an allergic rash to fully heal, so be sure to stay the course.

Frequently Asked Questions About Diaper Rashes

What Does Diaper Rash Look Like?

You’ll know diaper rash when you see it. While there are different types of diaper rashes, most diaper rashes will make your baby’s skin look red, irritated, possibly bumpy and may make it feel warm to the touch. Diaper rash may appear on or between butt cheeks, on inner thighs and/or around the genital area.

What Causes Diaper Rash?

No matter how absorbent your diapers are or how frequently you hit the changing table, baby bums are sensitive to all sorts of irritants. A rash can be caused by the diaper itself (chafing or fragrances) or by the acid that naturally occurs in urine and stool. Introducing new foods into your baby’s diet or antibiotics can also trigger a rash. Other causes of diaper rash include the overgrowth of a type of fungus found naturally in your baby’s digestive tract, an allergy or, in rare cases, a bacterial infection.

What Is the Best Type of Diaper Rash Cream?

There are two types of diaper rash creams: zinc oxide-based diaper creams and ointment.

Diaper creams with zinc oxide as an active ingredient are white and very thick. Zinc oxide is insoluble in water and acts as a great barrier cream for moisture. Ointment-based creams are often made from petroleum jelly. They’re also very thick and form an insoluble barrier between your baby’s skin and their diaper, but are clearer in color. Other common ingredients include things like lanolin, beeswax, various oils and shea butter.

Both types of diaper rash creams are very good at protecting your baby’s sensitive skin. Petroleum-based creams help to prevent diaper rash before it starts (or treat a more minor case), while zinc-oxide-based creams tend to be a bit better at treating and healing diaper rash.

How Long Does Diaper Rash Last?

Most diaper rashes last two or three days if you’re treating it at home by keeping the area clean and covering it with diaper rash cream. If it lasts longer than three days, try switching to a different diaper cream for a few more days.

When Should You Call the Pediatrician About Diaper Rash?

In some instances, your baby’s diaper rash will last longer than a few days. You might need a prescription cream or other medication from your pediatrician. Here’s how you’ll know it’s time to contact your child’s doctor:

  • The rash isn’t going away (or is getting worse) after about three days of treatment.
  • The rash includes pimples, peeling skin, blisters, pus-filled or oozing sores.
  • The rash is very painful.
  • Your baby develops a fever along with the diaper rash.
  • Your baby is on an antibiotic and you’re seeing a bright pink or red rash with red spots along the edges.
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