How to Choose the Best Diaper Rash Ointments for Your Baby

" Choosing diaper rash ointments is simpler then it looks.  Which one is right? What one will work the best? What kind of diaper rash does my child have? We’ve got some terrific suggestions for you to try, based on what other parents have found works really well. Rest assured that diaper rash is common and not a reflection of your skill as a parent with 50% of babies suffering from diaper rash once every two months. See our list of the best diaper rash creams and ointments below."

Diaper Rash Ointments: Overview

There are so many diaper rash ointments on the market these days it’s hard to know what to choose. You hate to spend good money on something you will not use or that does not work – but – where do you start? Often the best place to begin your search for an ointment or cream that works is by searching on line and finding out what others have used.

Fundamentally there are two types of diaper rash ointments, those that are Zinc Oxide based on others that are petrolatum based. There are no research studies that we are aware of that provides clear evidence that one is better than the other.(1)

There are different underlying causes for diaper dermatitis. While barrier creams will be effective for the most common cause, if the diaper rash is caused by yeast, an anti-fungal cream will be needed. See our diaper rash guide for more information.

diaper rash treatmentDiaper Rash Picture also referred to as Diaper Dermatitis Source: Principles of Pediatric Dermatology

Keep in mind that just because one cream or ointment worked for some people, it does not always mean that it will work for you. Your baby’s sensitive skin is unique, and you may go through several types of creams and ointments before you find one that works. We have some great ideas for you listed below.

Important: If your baby has fever or is lethargic, if the rash is getting progressively worse each day, if the rash causes pain (called cellulites),  if yellow or puss filled pustules form,  or if it does not begin to heal in 2 to 3 days, see your Doctor.

What Causes Diaper Rash and How to Protect Your Baby's Skin Video

Dr. Bill Sears shares information about what causes diaper rash and how to treat it.

How to Choose Diaper Rash Ointments:

In general, to protect baby's bottom, diaper rash ointments should contain zinc oxide and/or petroleum jelly in a thick cream.   They do not have to be reapplied with each changing if the cream is still in place (follow the manufacturers direction). Be gentle when applying to avoid causing more irritation.

Other ingredients are based on the preferences of the parent and what proves to be effective on your baby and that do not cause any type of allergic skin reaction. 

Tip: Try not to use powder based or cornstarch products as this can trap moisture.

For instance, ask yourself some of these questions to help you focus your search:

  • Do you like a nicely scented cream, lotion or balm?
  • Can your child handle scented products?
  • Do you prefer creams over gels?
  • Balms over lotion?
  • Lotion over cream?
  • Do you want a product that does not stain?
  • Do you want a product that is easy to use and easy to apply?

Personal experience is a gold mine when it comes to recommending a diaper rash ointment, so we are offering you our best choices based on our own trials of diaper rash ointments and from our own research using available research.

Tip: A soothing oatmeal baby bath can help with a painful diaper rash.

We suspect there will be at least one cream or lotion that you and your baby will love. As an added bonus, you can even make your own if you wish.  We have information on that at the end of this list.

Best Diaper Rash Ointments and Creams

Desitin Original Ointment

This is the best selling and most recommended diaper rash ointment.   Creamy Zinc-oxide formulation is just what is needed for most babies. Do not use with cloth diapers.

 Active Ingredients: Petrolatum 53. 4%, Lanolin 15. 5%. Inactive Ingredients: Cod Liver Oil (Contains Vitamin A, Vitamin D), Fragrance, Light Mineral Oil, Microcrystalline Wax, Paraffin. 

A&D Zinc Oxide Cream

Use with cloth diapers with a liner. 

 Active Ingredients: Ointment contains:: Dimethicone 1%, Zinc Oxide 10%. Inactive Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis Extract, Benzyl Alcohol, Coconut Oil, Cod Liver Oil (contains vitamin a & vitamin d), Fragrance, Glyceryl Oleate, Light Mineral Oil, Ozokerite, Paraffin, Propylene Glycol, Sorbitol, Synthetic Beeswax, Water. 

Angel Baby Bottom Balm

Made specifically for cloth diapers, but works well with disposable as well. Vegan and gluten free.

Olea europaea (organic olive) oil, Calendula officinalis (organic calendula) extract, Hypericum perforatum (organic St. John's wort) extract, Stellaria media (organic chickweed) extract, Plantago major (organic plantain extract), Butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter, Euphorbia antisyphilitica (candelilla), Simmondsia chinensis (organic jojoba) oil, proprietary blend of Lavandula angustifolia (lavender) oil, Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil and Commiphora myrrha (myrrh) oil. 

Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment

Used often with dry skin. Used also as a 50/50 mixture with Maalox. Aquaphor may make a yeast rash worse.

Avoid use with cloth diapers.

Active Ingredients: Petrolatum. Inactive Ingredients: Mineral Oil, Ceresin, Lanolin Alcohol, Panthenol, Glycerin, Bisabolol. 

Balmex Clear Ointment

Designed for use as a wetness barrier.  

Active Ingredients: White Petrolatum 51%. Inactive Ingredients: Cyclomethicone, Dimethicone, Mineral Oil, Polyethylene, Silica.

California Baby

Does not stain cloth diapers. Seems suitable for light rash care. 

Ultra-purified lanolin, vitamin-grade zinc (12%) and vitamin E, in addition to organic tea tree and aloe vera, proprietary Calming aromatherapy blend which includes French lavender, known for its soothing, antibacterial, and healing.

Grandma El’s Diaper Rash Remedy

Clean smell and softens in your hands. Just skim off a small amount and apply. Slightly oily to keep moisture away from baby’s butt.


Pure lanolin cream helps sore bottoms.  It starts as a white cream, but becomes clear as you rub it in.

Nature's Baby Organic Diaper Cream

Free of paraben and gluten, organic ingredients, like sunflower oil and cocoa butter, offer a soothing remedy for diaper rash.

Soothing Diaper Cream

 A homeopathic cream for parents that prefer natural products.  Contains ingredients such as Zinc cream in addition to specially selected herbs known for skin support.  It's the perfect way to avoid harmful chemicals as it doesn't contain any.

baby rash ointmentsA smooth, non-greasy formulation for a mess-free diaper change experience. This unique blend of Organic Shea Butter, Aloe Vera and Natural Calendula extracts provides a protective moisture barrier leaving your baby's bottom feeling soft and silky-smooth. Soothing Diaper Cream is free of Zinc Oxide, Beeswax and Lanolin, making it a perfect choice for cloth diapers as well.

Triple Paste

Designed to relieve raw, irritated skin and create a barrier between baby's skin and the diaper.Fragrance-free. Hypoallergenic. I would avoid use if dealing with a yeast infection. 

Active Ingredients: Zinc Oxide 11. 6%. Inactive Ingredients: White Petrolatum; Corn Starch; Anhydrous Lanolin; Stearyl Alcohol; White Beeswax; Cholesterol; Polysorbate 80. 

Home Remedies for Diaper Rash

The simplest home remedy for diaper rash is simply to use a washcloth soaked in warm water (or squirt bottle if the baby's skin is too sensitive). Dab at the area and keep the diaper off of the baby until the baby's bottom dries.  Use a hair dryer set on cool to dry the skin if necessary.

As an alternative, you can make your own cream in the palm of your hand with zinc oxide, white petroleum jelly, acid mantle (or Lansinoh – lanolin) and aluminum acetate (Burrow’s solution) .

We hope that you find which of these diaper rash ointments work best for you.

Download Our Ointment Buying Guide


(1) Atherton, 2001; Heimall, Storey, Stellar, & Davis, 2012; Noonan et al., 2006; Wolf et al, 2000

(2) American Academy of Pediatrics