How to Choose the Right Diaper Rash Cream

Best Treatments for Diaper Rash

Diaper rash is frustratingly common for babies. Nearly every baby will develop some sort of rash at some time during the diapering stage. The good news is that, although it's common, it's typically easily treatable with diaper rash cream. Here are some top suggestions for ointments that can be used to treat the various causes of diaper rash and calm your baby's irritated bum.


Diaper rash cream with the ingredient zinc oxide is a common treatment for your run-of-the-mill diaper rash. These creams are great at treating your mild to moderate irritations, but may not work as effectively on severe rashes. You likely know zinc oxide ointments by their name brands, like Desitin and Balmex. However, generics work just as well and may save you some money.

You can slather on a good coating of zinc oxide cream to help fight off the irritating rash. You might prefer the creamier consistency of some of these ointments. They tend to glide onto your baby's skin easier without requiring you to rub the cream into the skin and irritate the area further.


So the term "butt paste" sounds a little strange, but it certainly can do the job. Originally, butt pastes were only available by prescription and required a pharmacist to mix ointments to create the butt-soothing compound. Now butt pastes are available in over-the-counter creams including Summers Laboratories Triple Paste and Blairex Boudreaux's Butt-Paste.

Depending on which butt paste you purchase, these creams might be a blend of zinc oxide and ingredients meant to increase the barrier between your baby's skin and his diaper. It might be lanolin, beeswax, and/or balsam. Though butt pastes were originally developed to heal particularly problematic diaper rash, they can be used on a regular basis if needed.


Before you read that you can use hydrocortisone to treat diaper rash and fail to read further, please do read on. Over-the-counter hydrocortisone 1% cream is typically effective at reducing inflammation when applied first and then layered with another diaper rash cream. What you want to be aware of is that extended use of hydrocortisone can damage sensitive skin.

Use just a thin layer on the skin, no more than twice a day, and only for a few days if needed.


Lanolin, a natural ointment produced by sheep, is often used as an ingredient to treat damaged skin. In fact, you may already have some in your medicine cabinet that you used to treat sore nipples while breastfeeding. Lansinoh, a name brand, is a popular choice among parents looking for natural ingredients.

Additionally, cloth diapering parents may prefer lanolin over chemical ingredients. Lanolin may not affect the absorbency of the diaper soaker or damage the waterproof outer layer as severely as chemical ingredients can. However, preferred cloth diapering creams are ones that contain calendula or red clover.


Acid Mantle, a name brand product, is a cream that works to restore the skin's natural pH. At times babies might experience something similar to a chemical burn when their skin comes into contact with strongly acidic urine or diarrhea. The exposure to this acid throws off the natural pH balance of the skin. Acid Mantle, layered with a zinc oxide cream over top, can help to restore the pH level and soothe the burn of the rash.


If you have determined that your baby has a diaper rash from a yeast infection, you'll need to turn to an antifungal ointment in order to get rid of the irritation. You can use over-the-counter ointments that contain nystatin, clotrimazole, or miconazole micatin. Alternatively, you may need to get a prescription from your pediatrician to properly treat the infection.


E-Commerce Content is independent of editorial content and we may receive compensation in connection with your purchase of products via links on this page.