What is the Best Diaper Rash Creams for the Money?
Despite your best efforts, you baby is still probably going to encounter a diaper rash. Before you treat it with creams and ointments, it’s best to look at what caused it first. If you use the best diaper rash cream without addressing the underlying cause, your baby is probably going to get it again.
What Causes a Diaper Rash?
Diaper rash can develop because of different reasons but it also depends on the baby’s skin sensitivity. Some children may be more prone to rash than others because of sensitivity.Here are the common causes of diaper rashes:
Moisture or wetness
Even with the most absorbent diaper, there is still moisture from the urine. Also, urine plus the bacteria from stool can form ammonia which can be harsh on the skin. That’s why it’s better to change diapers sooner than later, especially if poop is involved.
Chafing and Chemical Sensitivity
Your child's skin is rubbing against the diaper which may have some chemicals in them. It could be chemicals from the disposable diaper or the detergents used to wash a cloth diaper. A baby's skin is very sensitive so irritation from chemicals could occur.
Bacteria or Yeast Infection
Bacteria and yeast thrive in warm and moist areas, just like the diaper area. That said, be sure to check the cracks and folds of the child's skin when cleaning up.
Diaper rashes are common to children who start on solids or new food because it changes the composition of their stool.
Some antibiotics reduce the number of healthy bacteria that keeps yeast in check. That said, babies on antibiotics or even breastfed babies whose mothers are on antibiotics can sometimes develop yeast infections.
How To Treat And Prevent Diaper Rash
You will need to see a doctor if you see signs of infection on the rash such as open sores, blisters, and pus-filled prickles. Otherwise, you can treat it within days without a visit to the doctor. Follow these tips to treat and prevent a diaper rash:
- Keep your child clean, especially the diaper area. Change the diaper as soon as you notice it is dirty. If rashes have already developed, keep it dry and air it out as often as possible. Airing it out helps the skin heal faster.
- Wash your hands before and after changing your baby’s diaper.
- When changing diapers, rinse the area and dry well. Avoid wipes that have alcohol and fragrance. Use cloth wipes with plain water or very mild disposable wipes.
- Pat the skin dry rather than rubbing it. Allow it to dry before putting on a new pair of diapers.
- Allow air to circulate by dressing your child in loose clothing and not securing the diaper too tight. It also prevents chafing.
- When washing clothes and cloth diapers, use a mild detergent.
Generally, diaper rash goes away after a few days of care. However, if symptoms persist, you can consult your doctor. Your doctor may prescribe a mild hydrocortisone, an antifungal, topical or oral antibiotics if the cause is bacterial.
Diaper Rash Creams
There is one more measure you can take to treat and prevent diaper rashes and it’s usinga diaper rash cream. However, if you’re not careful, it could cause more harm than good on your baby’s skin.
Diaper rash creams work to treat, relieve or soothe irritation and to prevent rashes from developing. The ingredients vary among the manufacturers, but there are also common ingredients among them.
The ingredients you need to avoid on a diaper rash cream are the same ones you should avoid for other baby products. These are unsafe chemicals such as parabens, triclosan, phthalates, and mineral oil or petroleum by-products.
Most diaper rash creams use zinc oxide as the active ingredient. It makes the cream very effective because it creates a protective barrier on the skin, allowing it to heal. It also works very well with preventing rashes because it repels water, which causes moisture.
Zinc oxide is fairly safe to use and there are hardly any reports of side effects. The highest dose that doesn’t require a prescription is 40%. However, you still need to be cautious and observe for negative signs such as worsening or developing of rashes, itchiness, and hives. Consult your doctor if these signs occur or if there is no improvement on your rashes.
How To Use Diaper Rash Cream
Before applying the cream on the area, you need to clean it first. Rinse the area with water and gently pat dry. Then you can apply a small amount first and observe for sensitivity reactions. If there are none, then apply liberal amounts on the rash. Follow special instructions provided by the manufacturer.
Best Diaper Rash Cream
Weleda, a company founded in 1921, has a mission to cultivate beauty with ecological, holistic and ethical farming methods. One of their best-selling product is the Weleda Calendula Diaper Rash Cream. In fact, it’s an award-winning product!
The key ingredients are all natural: calendula flower extract, sweet almond oil, and chamomile flower extract. It also contains 12% Zinc Oxide. The cream provides fast and safe relief to diaper rash and it can also prevent other rashes from developing.
- The chamomile and calendula aids in fast healing naturally and they also prevent inflammations. Aside from the healing, protective and preventive properties, it also nourishes the skin with essential oils from inactive natural ingredients.
- It’s pretty safe to use on other types of rashes. I’ve used it on a rash I got from chafing and it worked well.
- There are no synthetic fragrances, but the natural oils and ingredients give it a fairly pleasant odor.
- More expensive than many brands, maybe because it uses natural ingredients. It’s also very effective and safe.
Most, if not all, of Burt's Bees products only use natural ingredients. That said, it's very safe compared to products that contain loads of chemicals.
The active ingredient of this diaper rash cream is 40% Zinc Oxide with sweet almond oil for optimal protection. It prevents moisture, which is one of the main causes of diaper rash.
- 100% natural with 40% Zinc Oxide
- I love that it contains shea butter, lavender oil, and jojoba seed oil. These ingredients nourish the skin naturally.
- This product does not contain parabens, phthalates, and petrolatum.
- The 40% Zinc Oxide works so well in keeping the baby’s bottom dry.
- The smell is natural, mild and not irritating.
- I appreciate that it is pediatrician-tested.
- Cannot be used with most cloth diapers. The zinc oxide can build up in the cloth diaper and affect its absorbability. However, you can use diaper liners to protect the diaper.
- It’s a little thick in consistency but otherwise very good in keeping the baby dry.
- For some, the 40% zinc oxide is quite a lot, but it’s a matter of preference.
Another very wholesome company, aiming for pure, natural and sustainable products is California Baby. Their Calendula cream contains ingredients of Calendula, famous for its soothing and healing properties.
- The calendula cream is an all-purpose cream so it's not just for diaper rashes. It works well on cradle cap on babies, eczema and other rashes on the baby. You can also use it as a facial cream for adults.
- The scent is from natural essential oil with french lavender. It smells really nice and calming.
- It is hypo-allergenic and contains vegan ingredients.
- The cream provides protection by keeping the skin healthy and hydrated especially if the air is dry and harsh.
- The cream doesn’t protect the diaper area from moisture or wetness from the urine. That said, there is still a risk of rashes developing.
- Quite expensive.
Desitin Rapid Relief Diaper Rash Cream contains 13% of Zinc oxide and instantly creates a protective barrier on the baby's skin to relieve diaper rashes. It is hypoallergenic and is pediatrician-tested. The cream also seals the skin from wetness, thus preventing rashes from developing in the first place.
For more details on the ingredients, you can see them here. Desitin also has many other products for diaper rash that vary in levels of zinc oxide.
- It is free of parabens, dyes, and fragrances.
- Desitin is also quite cheaper than many other brands. They also come in larger sizes, up to 16 ounces.
- It’s common in most large stores, unlike the many brands where you can only find online or specialty stores.
- The product spreads easily on the skin.
- While it is fairly safe to use because doctors recommend it, it does contain a lot of the inactive ingredients are chemical-based. It contains many 1-4 dioxane and ethoxylated surfactants which are some chemicals to avoid. It also uses mineral oil, a byproduct of petroleum, which clogs pores and inhibits the skin from releasing toxins.
This is another product from Weleda, but the key ingredients are Mallow extract, beeswax, and pansy extract. It also contains coconut oil, sesame oil, borage seed oil, lanolin, and a few other natural ingredients. The Zinc Oxide is higher at 14%, compared to the previous one which was only 12%.
The cream does more than just relieving and preventing diaper rash. The other natural ingredients have moisturizing, soothing, nourishing and healing effects.
- I love that one of the key ingredients is beeswax. It soothes and moisturizes the skin very well without clogging pores, allowing the skin to breathe. That said, adults can try to use it to treat dry skin.
- I haven't used it for eczema but it has the approval of the National Eczema Association.
- The cream spreads easily and smoothly. The skin because smooth and seems to absorb it very well.
- This product costs more than a few others.
- The smell is something I don’t really like but it’s also not that strong of a smell.
The Honest Company is another company that aims to be sustainable and accessible. One of their goals is also to provide parents peace of mind with their products. They try to be as transparent about their products as they can.
One of their products excellent for diaper rashes is the healing balm. It contains shea butter, coconut, sunflower and olive oil, which nourish and moisturize the skin. They also have healing properties to restore the skin's integrity.
Era Organics aims to be chemical free. Their healing balm is a USDA certified organic skin treatment. It soothes itchy, inflamed and irritated skin, including diaper rashes. It also contains healing and nourishing properties with its natural ingredients like coconut oil, calendula, and avocado oil.
- Works very well with mild to severe diaper rashes. However, because it is a balm, it feels quite pasty.
- Another good feature is that it is no petrolatum and alcohol. It doesn’t clog the pores and it doesn’t dry the skin. The balm works rapidly in relieving redness and itchiness.
- This product is great not just for diaper rashes, but also for eczema, dry skin, cradle cap, dermatitis, and hives.
- The balm treats rashes rapidly but it doesn’t prevent rashes caused by moisture or wetness. It doesn’t protect the skin or provide a seal from wetness or moisture. When the child pees, the skin has contact with the urine and that increases the risk of rashes.
- Because it is a balm, it’s not as easy to scoop out of the container. It’s thick and firm, so spreading it isn’t as smooth as I want. However, it’s not such a big deal.
- The product is not very cheap. However, it is a balm I don’t use it up as quickly as creams.
Earth Mama Angel Baby offers mother and baby products that use safe herbs and ingredients. Their products only use natural and organic ingredients. They have the recognition of USDA Organic, American Herbal Products Association, American Botanical Council and many other organic associations.
The Earth Mama Angel Baby Bottom Balm is an herbal diaper cream that relieves existing diaper rash. The ingredients include organic olive oil, shea butter, jojoba oil, tea tree oil, and calendula extract. These oils are therapeutic and promote healing and relieve inflammations.
- It's very safe to use for cloth diapers because it is free of zinc.
- The scent is very pleasant and not at all harsh.
- This product only contains natural ingredients and they are very effective in fighting off rashes. It is also rapid-acting.
- Diaper rashes are not the only things you can use the cream on. It is safe to use on itchy rashes, cuts, scrapes, chafing and cradle cap.
- The cream is not as creamy as I would prefer. Spreading it is not as easy as other creams, however, it’s not such a big deal.
- While it is safe to use on cloth diapers, it doesn’t really provide protection against moisture. It doesn’t prevent the skin from exposure to urine wetness or moisture, so rashes can still develop.
When choosing a diaper rash cream, you have to look into the ingredients because the baby’s skin is very sensitive. You also have to consider that every baby is different and may react to the products differently. That said, whatever you choose, you have to keep a close eye on him or her.
The Weleda Calendula Baby Diaper Rash Cream appears to be most consistent with what a diaper rash should do. The ingredients are all natural and the zinc oxide is just right to prevent rashes from forming.
Compared to the other natural products, it has zinc oxide, which is fairly safe to use and it prevents rashes from forming. The others that do not have zinc oxide still puts the baby to the risk of diaper rashes because they don't offer water repelling qualities. Thus, it treats present rashes and prevents new ones.