How do I Choose the Best Diaper Rash Ointment?

Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt

Diaper rash ointment is used for soothing flesh that is broken out with irritation. Often caused by wearing a diaper or other friction, mild diaper rash can usually be treated with an effective ointment. Depending on the specific preference and need, from natural creams to medicinal creams, there are many types of ointment that can be used.

Many ointments are available to treat diaper rash.
Many ointments are available to treat diaper rash.

Parents who use cloth diapers should avoid skin ointment that can damage the diapers. Diaper rash lotion that includes cod or other types of fish oil can erode cloth diapers. Some manufacturers label their healing ointment to indicate whether or not it is safe for cloth diaper use.

Aloe vera is a common ingredient in ointments designed to relieve inflammation caused by diaper rash.
Aloe vera is a common ingredient in ointments designed to relieve inflammation caused by diaper rash.

Creams that contain zinc oxide, an anti-bacterial ointment, are very popular for treating diaper rash. These are typically quite strong, and can solve a mild case of irritation within a day or two. Other ingredients that provide a diaper rash cure include nystatin, an anti-fungal agent, beeswax, petroleum jelly, and hydrocortisone, an anti-inflammatory drug. Diaper rash ointment may also contain several natural ingredients intended to help provide soothing relief, such as sandalwood, aloe vera, cucumber, or a variety of other herbal pastes.

Homemade diaper rash ointments may include corn starch.
Homemade diaper rash ointments may include corn starch.

Many parents who are concerned about possible longterm side effects of these drugs on their children may wish to use natural alternatives, such as a homemade ointment, to treat diaper rash. These can include vegetable oil or shortening, breast milk, lanolin, corn starch, coconut oil, and olive oil. Caution should be used when using breast milk and cornstarch, as they can aggravate a yeast infection if present. Lanolin can occasionally cause an allergic reaction.

One of the chief ingredients in diaper rash creams is petroleum jelly.
One of the chief ingredients in diaper rash creams is petroleum jelly.

Soaking in a warm mixture of baking soda and water has helped soothe the diaper rash of some babies. Salt water may work as well. Organic diaper rash ointment free of harmful chemicals as well as natural diaper rash ointment are also available over the counter. Other natural ways to avoid or cure diaper rash include keeping the area clean and dry, free of moisture, and free of soaps or ingredients that could irritate the area.

Some diaper rashes won't respond to zinc oxide creams, though most common ones will when treated early.
Some diaper rashes won't respond to zinc oxide creams, though most common ones will when treated early.

Some medicinal cream ingredients have been linked with causing harm or additional irritation to babies as well as adults. Many caregivers opt to avoid these ingredients, such as fragrances and petroleum-based products. Parents concerned about the leeching of harmful substances into their children may also wish to avoid analgesic ointment in aluminum containers.

Over the counter strength diaper rash creams can be made at home as well. Parents can mix equal parts of petroleum jelly, zinc oxide, and aluminum acetate to create a similar ointment to those available for purchase. These ingredients are available at medical stores.

Caregivers should keep in mind that a diaper rash is often a symptom rather than a disease itself. While diaper rash ointment can help alleviate the pain, frequent or persistent diaper rash may require a physician's care. Pediatricians can also recommend the best way to treat diaper rash for an individual baby's needs.

Diaper rashes usually occur because the diaper area is chronically warm and damp.
Diaper rashes usually occur because the diaper area is chronically warm and damp.
Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt

A graduate of Southeast Missouri State University, Sara has a Master’s Degree in English, which she puts to use writing for wiseGEEK and several magazines, websites, and nonprofit organizations. She has published her own novella, and has other literary projects currently in progress. Sara’s varied interests have also led her to teach children in Spain, tutor college students, run CPR and first aid classes, and organize student retreats.

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Discussion Comments

anon152940

Honestly, a lesser known but amazing diaper rash ointment is from Bum Boosa Bamboo Products. It has several very healing herbs and extracts. They plant a tree for every jar they sell, too. Great company!

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