The moment you have a baby, a diaper rash cream becomes a must. The market offers dozens of brands, which makes it hard to choose the one that will work best for your little loved one. Here is a list of the eight leading brands we recommend most to help you avoid diaper rash and keep your baby’s skin soft and healthy.
1) Desitin Rapid Relief – This is our number one choice for a diaper rash cream. The Rapid Relief contains 13% zinc oxide known for its therapeutic qualities, most of which keeping wounded areas on the skin moist by providing an insulating coating against harmful substances (urine and poop). Zinc oxide also functions as a skin astrigent that expedites healing.
The additional inactive ingredients in Rapid Relief (such as Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Glycerin and Tropolone) are effectively used in the cosmetics industry to treat itchy skin.
Desitin Rapid Relief is hypoallergenic and is approved by pediatricians.
2) Triple Paste – This hypoallergenic diaper rash cream has received positive feedbacks from many parents. It contains 12.8% zinc oxide, which, as mentioned above, seals the skin from wetness while keeping it moist.
Triple Paste contains anhydrous lanolin which is produced from the sebaceous glands of sheep wool and is highly effective as a skin moisturizer to treat all sorts of irritations. Triple paste is also made of avena sativa (wild oats) – a plant rich in anti-inflammatory substances as well as vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to the skin.
3) Earth Mama Angel Bottom Balm – This cream is 100% natural without petroleum and parabens. It consists of organic oils and herbs (such as lavender, peppermint, witch hazel and calendula) which soothe the skin and create an antibacterial and antifungal effect vital for its healing. Another benefit – it doesn’t leave stains on clothes diapers
4) Weleda Diaper Care Cream is relatively expensive, but many parents say it’s worth every penny. It is based on the beautiful white mallow flower known for its therapeutic qualities. Herbalists have been using it for hundreds of years to treat dry skin (especially for patients who suffer from psoriasis). The flower is rich in Vitamins A and E that heal damaged skin and so it’s also used in anti-aging products.
In addition, Welada contains zinc oxide and calendula and is free from synthetic preservatives and petroleum. This makes it an excellent diaper rash cream for babies with highly sensitive skin.
5) Cetaphil Baby Diaper Relief Cream contains essential ingredients necessary for restoring skin health, such as zinc oxide, calendula and vitamins E and B5. It’s hypoallergenic, which makes it fit to treat a baby’s delicate skin.
The Cetaphil cream is manufactured from the marigold flower known for its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory qualities.
6) Aquaphor Baby Diaper Rash Cream comprises a high percentage of zinc oxide (15%) in addition to panthenol and magnesium stearate. The former is a provitamin of B5 with makes it an excellent skin moisturizer. The latter is used to lubricate the skin and keep it supple.
7) Burt’s Bees Diaper Rash Ointment is one of the most popular brands of diaper rash cream in the United States. It contains the highest concentration of zinc oxide (40%) and that makes it the preferred choice for severe cases of diaper rash. Its other ingredients include shea butter and lavender oil that restore the skin’s natural softness. Burt’s Bees is widely used in the cosmetic industry to treat damaged skin.
8) Balmex Diaper Rash Cream – Parents tell this cream gives instant relief. It comprises 11.3% zinc oxide. One of its inactive ingredients is benzoic acid which helps prevent bacterial and fungal infections. Benzonic acid is also used to treat other skin conditions, such as light burns and insect bites.
What causes diaper rash
Diaper rash is an inflammation of the skin that appears in areas covered by diapers: buttocks, inner thighs, and genitals. This is a very common phenomenon in infants aged 4-15 months and it’s usually caused by the following:
- Prolonged exposure to urine or stool which irritate the baby’s delicate skin, similar to a chemical burn. Enhanced bowel activity (diarrhea) may cause or aggravate the rash.
- Diapers or clothes worn too tight may cause the skin to rub and irritate.
- Allergic reaction to new wipes, diapers or any other substance applied to the baby’s skin for the first time. For this reasons, many parents opt for organic diapers and homemade baby wipes.
- Fungal infection – Areas covered by a diaper tend to be hot and moist thus creating an ideal environment for the development of fungi. Fungal infection usually appears in skin folds.
- Babies with sensitive skin (especially in cases of atopic dermatitis and seborrheic dermatitis) are more likely to suffer from diaper rash.
- Antibiotics treatment given to a baby or even to a breastfeeding mother eliminates good bacteria populations in the baby’s body and may lead to diarrhea, which is a risk factor of diaper rash.
In most cases using a good diaper rash cream (see above) will solve the problem. You should also change diapers more frequently. After a diaper is changed, wash your baby with warm water. Make sure you bath your baby at least once a day. Use a gentle soap.
Things you should not do when your baby suffers from diaper rash
- Avoid products containing baking soda, boric acid, phenol, camphor oil, benzocaine or salicylates.
- Don’t use creams containing steroids unless ordered to do so by your doctor.
- Don’t use soaps and moisturizers that contain alcohol or perfumes.
- Don’t dress your baby with tight clothes and use diapers that are one size larger.
When should you consult your doctor?
If you don’t see any improvement after a couple of days of home treatment or if things get worse, it’s time to pay a visit to your doctor. The following cases require urgent medical consultation:
- The rash appears with bleeding or peeling of the skin.
- The baby feels pain while urinating.
- The baby has fever.
Your doctor may decide to treat your baby with corticosteroids (hydrocortisone), antifungal cream or local antibiotics if he/she thinks there is bacterial infection.
The article was contributed by Cynthia Heslin, a mother to 3 children, a cosmetologist and a part-time blogger from San Diego