Diaper rash creams for babies

Even with superabsorbent diaper technology and frequent diaper changes, diaper rash can happen from time to time. It's worth having a good diaper rash cream on hand to help settle your little one’s skin and help prevent the condition from reoccurring. To help you choose the best diaper rash cream for your baby, we surveyed more than 10,000 Pampers Parents. Discover their favorite products here as well as some pros and cons of each.

What Is Diaper Rash and What Causes It?

Diaper rash is a rash that can appear around your baby’s diaper area. It usually makes your baby’s skin red and tender. It’s sometimes accompanied by red bumps, scaly skin, and—in more severe cases—blisters or open sores. Diaper rash often forms when urine or poop irritates your baby’s skin, such as when she’s been in a wet or dirty diaper a little too long. However, there are several other potential causes of diaper rash, including:

  • A diaper that’s too tight

  • A diaper that chafes against your baby’s skin

  • An allergic reaction to certain soaps, laundry detergents, fragrances, baby wipes, or even certain foods

  • A skin infection caused by fungi or bacteria

  • A yeast infection that’s brought on by your baby taking antibiotics, which can lead to an overgrowth of yeast.

How to Treat Diaper Rash

Here are some things you can do to help treat or prevent diaper rash:

  1. Change your baby’s diaper often. This is typically the best way to clear up or prevent diaper rash.

  2. Use superabsorbent, disposable diapers. This is particularly important if you’re treating diaper rash.

  3. Clean your baby’s bottom carefully and gently during each diaper change. Use fragrance-free and alcohol-free wipes or rinse your baby’s bottom with warm water.

  4. Ideally, let your baby’s bottom air-dry. If not, pat your baby’s bottom completely dry after cleaning it during a diaper change.

  5. Apply a thick layer of diaper rash cream or ointment. You might like to get your baby’s healthcare provider’s advice about how to apply diaper rash cream, especially if the provider has prescribed a cream for a more severe diaper rash.

  6. Make sure your baby’s diapers fit properly. If they’re too tight, there isn’t enough airflow, the diaper might chafe against the skin, and urine or poop might be held against your baby’s skin—all of which can increase the risk of diaper rash.

  7. Connect with your baby’s healthcare provider for advice, especially if the diaper rash doesn’t clear up within 48 to 72 hours, or if it gets worse.

Types of Diaper Rash Creams and Ointments

Diaper rash creams often have a base ingredient of either petroleum jelly or zinc oxide, both of which serve as a barrier to protect the skin from damaging moisture. You might want to experiment with the different base ingredients to see what works best for your baby. For example, Aquaphor is a classic petroleum-jelly-based product, and Desitin is a well-known zinc-oxide-based product. Other ingredients are sometimes added, among them aloe vera and calendula, which one study has shown to be effective in treating diaper rash. If your baby’s diaper rash is more severe or is caused by a yeast infection, your baby’s healthcare provider may recommend or prescribe a special cream or ointment such as a gentle hydrocortisone cream (a steroid cream), an antifungal cream, or an antibiotic. If you're unsure which diaper rash cream might be best for your little one, consult your baby’s healthcare provider.

What to Consider When Choosing a Diaper Rash Cream

We polled Pampers Parents to find out what they look for in a diaper rash cream. These are the top features they felt were worth considering when choosing a diaper rash cream:

  • Effectiveness — in that it works quickly at healing the diaper rash

  • Safe on your baby’s sensitive skin

  • Made with the least amount of chemicals

  • Hypoallergenic

  • Fragrance-free

  • Ease of application — that is, it goes on smoothly and not too thickly

  • Not too messy and easy to wash off your hands

  • Made with natural ingredients

  • Affordability.

9 Best Diaper Rash Creams and Ointments

More than 10,000 Pampers Parents voted for the best diaper rash creams. Here are the top nine creams as chosen by Pampers Parents:

1. Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment Advanced Therapy Skin Protectant

This ointment can also be used for many other issues such as chapped skin, drool rash, and minor cuts or scrapes, so you might want to add a tub to your baby first aid kit. It can also help protect skin from becoming overly dry from wind and cold weather, too. Your whole family could end up using this ointment!

Highlights: This ointment is formulated without fragrances and preservatives.

Price*: about $26.38 on Amazon.com

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2. Desitin Daily Defense Baby Diaper Rash Cream

With a base ingredient of zinc oxide, this cream provides your baby’s bottom with a protective barrier against the things that may cause or aggravate diaper rash. Highlights: The hypoallergenic formula is free of parabens, phthalates, dyes, and added fragrances.

Price*: about $12.38 on Amazon.com

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3. Boudreaux’s Butt Paste Diaper Rash Ointment

Why pick this one? This diaper rash ointment helps soothe the discomfort of diaper rash. It’s a thick paste that’s good for treating mild diaper rash. It’s made with a 16 percent zinc oxide base. It might be of interest to know that this diaper rash formula was originally created by a pharmacist and father of four for his own little ones. Highlights: This formula doesn’t include dyes, preservatives, parabens, or talc.

Price*: about $16.10 on Amazon.com

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4. A+D Original Diaper Rash Ointment

Why pick this one? This ointment is made with lanolin to help protect your little one’s skin from wetness, and therefore helps treat and prevent diaper rash. It’s also made with vitamins A and D. This formula is free from parabens, phthalates, and dyes. Highlights: This formula goes on easily and can even be used on your own skin and lips to relieve dry, chapped skin.

Price*: about $10.42 on Amazon.com

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5. Aquaphor Baby Diaper Rash Paste

Why pick this one? Aquaphor Baby Diaper Rash Paste is made with shea butter and maximum strength 40 percent zinc oxide, making it a good choice for a troublesome diaper rash that needs more intensive care. The cream is rich but not sticky and goes on gently and comes off easily when needed. The manufacturer claims it provides instant relief after just one application. Highlights: It’s suitable for babies with sensitive skin as it’s made without parabens, fragrance, and talc. It’s completely odorless and hypoallergenic.

Details:

Price*: about $6.67 on Amazon.com

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6. Burt’s Bees Baby 100% Natural Diaper Ointment

Why pick this one? This formula is made with 40 percent zinc oxide and almond oil. It creates a soft and soothing layer on your baby’s skin to protect it from wetness.

Highlights: This 100 percent natural formula has no phthalates, parabens, or sodium laurel sulfates. Details:

Price*: about $6.95 on Amazon.com

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7. Earth Mama Organic Diaper Balm

Why pick this one? Unlike most diaper rash creams, this one isn’t made with either a zinc oxide base or a petroleum jelly base. It’s formulated with beeswax and calendula. It’s also made with several other soothing oils like olive oil and shea butter. This formula also contains tea tree oil, which is thought to have antibacterial properties.

Highlights: This is the only organic diaper rash cream on this Pampers Parents’ top list.

Price*: about $11.43 on Amazon.com

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8. A+D Zinc Oxide Diaper Rash Treatment Cream

Why pick this one? As with most diaper rash creams A+D Zinc Oxide Cream is made with zinc oxide as well as dimethicone, an emollient that helps soften and moisturize skin. It spreads on easily for maximum coverage and works effectively for fast healing. Highlights: Formulated without parabens or dyes.

Price*: about $4.81 on Amazon.com

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9. Balmex Complete Zinc Oxide Protection Diaper Rash Cream

Why pick this one? This formula goes on smoothly and is easy to wipe off, so it won’t irritate your baby’s skin further during diaper changes. Highlights: This formula is made with aloe and vitamin E to help ease your little one’s discomfort. Details:

Price*: about $14.49 on Amazon.com

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The Bottom Line

When your little one has diaper rash, it’s usually something that you can quickly treat and heal with a few simple steps or the help of your baby’s healthcare provider. We hope that one of these great diaper rash creams that come recommended by other Pampers Parents does the trick for you and your little one!

Recall Notice

Before buying a product, always check that it’s approved and hasn’t been recalled on sites like the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

*Prices are correct at the time of writing.

How We Got These Results

We surveyed thousands of parents in the Pampers Community and asked them to choose the products they love the most, and to share their views on specific products and product categories.

Based on the survey responses, we have taken the top product picks and added our own research to create this article. The aim is to help you choose the right product for you and your family. We might receive commissions on purchases made from the links in this article, but the products featured are the Pampers Community’s top choices.