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Expert Shopper Baby & Kids

Which diaper rash cream is best for sensitive skin?

Diaper rash is a common childhood ailment, affecting up to a third of babies at some point. While most common between the ages of 9 and 12 months, it can happen any time diapers are being worn. 

Treating diaper rash focuses on soothing the current outbreak and establishing a barrier against moisture to prevent future rashes. There is a wide variety of creams for sensitive skin that treat the rash, moisturize skin and prevent other occurrences. 

In this article: Desitin Maximum Strength Baby Diaper Rash Cream, Burt's Bees Baby 2-in-1 Diaper Cream and Powder and Triple Paste Diaper Rash Cream.

What are the types of diaper rash treatments?

There are three types of diaper rash treatments, based on consistency and application. 

  • Diaper rash creams are the easiest to apply because they are thinner with a higher water content. They work well on mild irritation and can be used daily. They don't form a protective barrier against moisture, though, and can be easily wiped off.
  • Diaper rash ointments have a higher oil content and ingredients that create a protective layer against moisture. They are thicker than creams but still spread easily and work well at preventing future rashes. Some ointments can stain cloth diapers and are difficult to wash off. 
  • Diaper rash pastes are for the most severe cases, with strong ingredients to protect raw skin and create a thick layer of nourishment. Pastes provide maximum protection, but they're difficult to apply and remove. Also, they cannot be used with cloth diapers and may require a doctor's prescription.

What are the main ingredients in diaper rash creams?

Zinc oxide is often used in diaper rash creams. A mild astringent with some antiseptic properties, it forms a barrier between the skin and diaper to allow healing and prevent moisture from reaching the skin again.

There are other natural ingredients often incorporated, too.

  • Aloe cools the burning sensation of diaper rash.
  • Beeswax and coconut oil have antibacterial properties.
  • Shea butter and vitamin B5 help moisturize healing skin
  • Vitamin E encourages new skin growth.

What are the best ways to prevent diaper rash?

According to the Mayo Clinic, there are several things you can do to prevent diaper rash.

  • Change diapers frequently, as soon as they become soiled.
  • Rinse the baby's bottom with warm water from a sink or washcloth.
  • Pat the skin dry and let it air dry. Talcum powder is not recommended.
  • Apply cream, ointment or paste as needed. If your baby is prone to diaper rash, you may need to apply the cream after each diaper change.
  • Make sure the new diaper has breathing room.

Best diaper rash creams for sensitive skin

Desitin Maximum Strength Baby Diaper Rash Cream

The top choice of pediatricians, this thick diaper rash cream contains 40% zinc oxide,  clinically proven to protect skin for up to 12 hours. It is hypoallergenic and not only heals diaper rash but prevents its recurrence. 

Sold by Amazon 

Burt's Bees Baby 2-in-1 Diaper Cream and Powder

This popular brand's diaper rash cream turns into a powder upon drying, keeping a baby's skin comfortable by absorbing wetness.  It is free of parabens and petroleum and is clinically proven to be non-irritating.

Sold by Amazon

Triple Paste Diaper Rash Cream

This diaper rash cream features zinc oxide combined with beeswax and oat extract to immediately calm irritated skin. The thick formula creates a protective barrier. It is free of fragrance, talc and dyes. 

Sold by Amazon and iHerb

The Honest Company Diaper Rash Cream

Made with zinc oxide for treating diaper rash and buffered for moisturizing with organic shea butter, jojoba, tamanu and coconut oils, this cream protects irritated skin during and after an outbreak. 

Sold by Amazon and iHerb

Mustela Diaper Rash Cream

This hypoallergenic cream is made from 98% natural ingredients and clinically tested to be low risk for allergic reactions. It can be used on all skin types from birth into early childhood. 

Sold by iHerb

Babo Botanicals Sensitive Baby Diaper Cream

Made in the U.S. with 25% zinc oxide and colloidal oatmeal to calm even the most sensitive skin, this diaper cream is free of soy, dairy and fragrance and forms a soothing barrier against moisture. 

Sold by Amazon

Balmex Diaper Rash Cream

This long-trusted brand has been clinically proven to lessen diaper rash symptoms in 3 hours. It is made with 11% zinc oxide, vitamin E and evening primrose for extra soothing.

Sold by Amazon

Hello Bello Diaper Rash Cream

With a mix of shea butter and jojoba oil, this soft cream has a sweet cream scent like a newborn baby.  It is made without gluten, peanuts and soy, and free of fragrances and parabens.

Sold by Amazon

Best diaper rash ointments for sensitive skin

Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment

This advanced-therapy-formula ointment is ideal for active rashes but also is useful for preventing future outbreaks. It is free of fragrance and preservatives and gentle enough to use with every diaper change. 

Sold by Amazon and iHerb

Boudreaux's Butt Paste Maximum Strength Diaper Rash Ointment

This thick diaper rash cream comes in a convenient pop-top container for easy access. It contains 40% zinc oxide for fast relief and seals out moisture against future irritation. It is free of dyes and preservatives. 

Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

  • Diaper rash treatment and protection aren't only found in creams and ointments. Convenient sprays such as Babo Botanicals Sensitive Baby Diaper Rash Spray or Boogie Bottoms Diaper Rash Spray offer easy application without any need to rub it in. 
  • Popular skin moisturizers such as Aveeno and CeraVe also have baby diaper rash creams, but they tend to focus more on moisturizing chapped skin associated with diaper rash than being medicated to treat the actual outbreak. 

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Steve Ganger writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.

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