Today's incontinence products are designed for comfort and breathability, but that doesn't mean they can't irritate the skin. So, we curated the best diaper rash creams just for you.

Whether you're a new parent trying to prevent baby diaper rash or you're a family caregiver who regularly deals with yeast infections, the right diaper rash cream can make all the difference.

In this article, we discuss some of the things to consider when researching diaper rash cream and highlight some of our best-selling products.

What is diaper rash?

Diaper rash is a type of skin irritation that occurs due to daily diaper use. Anyone who uses incontinence products can experience a diaper rash, but they're especially common in babies and the elderly because these groups have sensitive skin.

If you notice patches of red, scaly, or sensitive-looking skin when changing diapers, it's important to get help. Without diagnosis and treatment, diaper rash can get worse and interfere with your care recipient's quality of life.

What causes diaper rash?

Diaper rash occurs for various reasons, including:

Wearing incontinence products that are too tight.

If a diaper or pull-up is too tight, it can rub against your loved one's skin, causing redness, chafing, and irritation. To ensure a perfect fit, measure your care recipient's waist and legs. This video explains the process in-depth.

Lack of airflow.

Many diapers have plastic backings to absorb moisture and prevent leaks. Though effective, certain types of backing material allow for little airflow. Without proper ventilation, gases released by urine and stool can get trapped against your loved one's skin, increasing the risk of odors, rashes, and infection.

Underlying skin conditions.

People with underlying skin conditions, like eczema and psoriasis, are also more likely to experience diaper rash. You may be able to prevent flareups by encouraging your care recipient to take their medication as prescribed, eat a balanced diet, and moisturize their skin regularly.

Trying a new incontinence product.

No two incontinence products are exactly alike. While most offerings are paraben-free, certain ingredients and preservatives can irritate the skin. It may take some trial and error to determine the type of product that's best for your senior's or baby's skin.

Bacterial or fungal infections.

The increased moisture and lack of airflow caused by a dirty diaper provide the perfect environment for bacteria and fungi to thrive. Changing diapers frequently and keeping your loved one's skin clean can help prevent diaper rash. 

What are diaper rash creams?

Diaper rash creams are over-the-counter products formulated to moisturize and protect irritated skin. There are dozens of rash creams to choose from, but all of them fall into one of two categories –– Petroleum-based rash creams and Zinc oxide-based rash creams.

Petroleum rash creams. Petroleum rash creams feature a petroleum base. They create a barrier of moisture that protects the skin, reducing the risk of chafing, itching, flaking, and irritation.

Zinc oxide rash creams. These creams contain zinc oxide, a protective agent that prevents exposure to UV sunlight and other irritants. If your care recipient has very sensitive skin, zinc oxide provides an extra layer of protection.

To prevent uncomfortable side effects, like diaper rash and dry skin, most zinc oxide products incorporate all-natural moisturizers, like shea butter, aloe, or beeswax

What is the best diaper rash cream?

Now that you know about the different types of rash creams, let's take a closer look at some of the best-selling products here on the Carewell website.

1) Balmex Diaper Rash. This diaper rash ointment from Balmex contains ingredients like zinc oxide, aloe, and vitamin E. The creamy formula protects the skin and neutralizes irritants known to cause diaper rash. Balmex cream is easy to apply and has a pleasant scent.

2) Boudreaux's Butt Paste, Tube. Butt paste is specifically formulated to treat baby diaper rash. The diaper rash ointment contains 16% zinc oxide and is free of parabens, dyes, preservatives, and talc. The product comes in two sizes –– 2 oz. and 4 oz.

3) Boudreaux's Butt Paste, Treatment Ointment, Jar. If you change diapers several times a day, you'll probably need more butt paste than the standard tube offers. This jar contains 16 oz. of Boudreaux's zinc oxide formula. It's ideal for protecting chafed skin and helps seal out wetness.

4) Flander's Diaper Rash Treatment, Scented Tube, 4 oz. This ointment is the only product on our list formulated by pharmacists to prevent diaper rash and other skin irritations, "from top to bottom." It's soothing, non-irritating, and easy to apply and comes in a 4 oz. tube.

5) Calmoseptine Total Skin Protection Ointment. Calmoseptine ointment serves as a multipurpose moisture barrier. It's safe for infants, children, and adults and contains ingredients that protect the skin from urine and fecal perspiration.

6) Medline Remedy with Phytoplex Z-Guard. If your care recipient experiences chapped or cracked skin and it interferes with their ability to sit or lie down for extended periods, consider Medline Remedy. This ointment is enhanced with ingredients like allantoin and Phytoplex, which can help speed up the body's healing process.

7) Aquaphor Healing Ointment. Aquaphor is a multipurpose ointment renowned for its ability to soothe dry skin, minor cuts, and burns. It's unscented, easy to apply, and provides instant relief.

What if I have questions about diaper rash cream?

If you have questions about any of the rash creams we carry or want to know more about their ingredients and uses, please contact our friendly Care Specialists. Call (800) 696-CARE or send an email to

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Chad Birt
Chad Birt

Chad Birt is a freelance medical writer who resides in Astoria, Oregon. When he isn't behind a keyboard, you can find him hiking, camping, or birdwatching with his wife Ella and their two dogs, Diane and Thoreau.