The best diaper rash cream

Adam Reeder

Any product with perfumes or alcohol can irritate a baby’s skin. They should be completely avoided if your child is suffering from any type of skin rash. Although they may smell nice, they can cause your baby further discomfort.

Nobody wants to see their baby in discomfort, and diaper rash is one of the most common ailments for babies. When your bundle of joy is crying from an uncomfortable rash, you want to make sure you have the best possible remedy. Diaper rash cream is created to soothe and cure the rash, no matter the cause.

Read our informative buying guide so you can be well-informed when choosing a diaper rash cream. We've included advice and a few reviews of our favorites. Our top pick, Desitin's Daily Defense Diaper Rash Cream, is a trusted product from a well-respected brand. It'll have your little one feeling better in no time.

Considerations when choosing diaper rash creams

Causes of diaper rash

Diaper rash is a skin irritation in babies that can be caused by a number of things. Some babies are allergic to baby powder or certain foods. Others get the rash from dirty diapers or chafing. Still others might be susceptible to such rashes due to bacterial infections or even exposure to antibiotics. Whatever the cause, diaper rash can ruin your baby's mood and make them very unhappy and uncomfortable.


Diaper rash creams create a protective barrier between the skin and other irritants. While each formula is different, most diaper rash creams use zinc oxide or petrolatum to protect baby's skin. The concentration of zinc oxide in most diaper rash creams ranges from 10% to 40%. The highest quality creams usually include additional protectants such as aloe vera, beeswax, or shea butter. Those that have a higher water content offer babies a cooling effect that soothes the irritation as well.

Other ingredients to help soothe severe diaper rash include calendula, coconut oil, Vitamin B5, and Vitamin E. Most of these ingredients help babies with sensitive skin to avoid further irritation.

Types of diaper rash remedies

Creams are relatively thin and are thereby easier to spread than other options. They have a higher ratio of water to oil, which makes them soothing, though they may not last as long as thicker alternatives.

Ointments have a higher oil content than creams. They are thicker than creams because of their high oil content, making them longer-lasting.

Pastes are the thickest of all diaper rash remedies. They are virtually impenetrable and can go far to protect severely damaged skin. However, some pastes are only available via a doctor's prescription.

Prevention vs. cure

Lighter creams are good at preventing diaper rash under certain conditions. If your baby suffers from diarrhea or infrequent diaper changes, you might want to use a thicker paste. Ointments or pastes are the most effective at curing a diaper rash that's already present because they stay on your baby's skin for a longer time than thinner creams.


Most diaper rash creams cost between $4 and $20. $4 diaper rash creams are small tubes (around four ounces) that include the most basic ingredients. For $10, you can get an all-natural organic cream. A $20 container of diaper rash cream is usually a larger container that includes extra ingredients.


Q. What should I do if diaper rash cream doesn't work on my baby?

A. If diaper rash cream does not seem to be working, your baby may have a more serious condition. A fungal infection can be difficult to cure and may require a visit to the doctor.

Q. How often do I need to put diaper rash cream on my baby?

A. Daily application of diaper rash cream helps keep your baby's skin clear and comfortable. If you notice your baby has more irritation due to the cream itself, stop using it immediately and consult a pediatrician.

Diaper rash creams we recommend

Best of the best: Desitin's Daily Defense Diaper Rash Cream

Our take: You can't really go wrong with the standard-bearer of diaper rash cream.

What we like: Fragrance-free zinc oxide formula soothes discomfort quickly.

What we dislike: Some users found the cream to be "dried out."

Best bang for your buck: A+D Original's Diaper Rash Ointment

Our take: Though it has an unusual scent, it's a dependable product at a good price.

What we like: Large jar. Contains vitamins A and D.

What we dislike: The strong smell is unpleasant to some users.

Choice 3: Burt's Bees Baby's 100% Natural Diaper Rash Ointment

Our take: An all-natural product that costs more but gives you an organic remedy.

What we like: Good for babies with sensitive skin. Nice scent. Not animal tested.

What we dislike: High price for a small container of ointment.

Adam Reeder is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

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