By Guest Blogger Elizabeth Smith

Before I had a baby I heard that diaper rash was the result of letting a child sit in a wet diaper for too long. Therefore, I assumed that children with diaper rash belonged only to irresponsible parents or negligent day cares. WOW, was I wrong! Once I had a baby I learned that there are many other circumstances that can lead to diaper rash including sensitive skin, antibiotics and illness. None of these causes mean that you are a bad parent or that your care giver is neglecting your child. They are reasons that should be addressed and treated to get baby back to her happy self.

How do you take care of diaper rash? The response to that question is far longer than the list of potential causes. In the childbirth preparation class that I attended we were told that to treat diaper rash you need a cream with zinc, and you that you should not use baby powder. That was my lengthy training. I have learned a couple more tricks of the trade since that class thanks to my best source of information – other moms. Hopefully these tips will help you, and your baby!

Barrier Creams

Many moms that I know swear that their child has never had diaper rash because of one product or another that they put on after every diaper change. Barrier creams include Vaseline, A&D and Aquafore. This barrier cream is supposed to keep baby’s bottom from coming in direct contact with any wetness.

Zinc Creams

I don’t think I have seen a baby registry that did not include Desitin. Is this product the most popular thanks to Johnson & Johnson advertising or because it works the best? It depends on who you ask. My pediatrician recommended to me Bordeaux’s Butt Paste or Triple Paste. For my baby’s bottom Triple Paste knocks diaper rash out.

Bath Treatments

Triple Paste, Avenno and Desitin all offer a bath treatment to help sooth diaper rash. It is often recommended that if your child is suffering from diaper rash keeping the area as clean as possible will help. You will have to determine if you need one of these treatments or if a good warm bath is all you need.

Oldies But Goodies

At the end of the day, air on the little bottom is just what it needs. You can accomplish that through some dry bath time fun, playing in a crib covered in multi-purpose pads or letting your darling run through the house and cleaning up as you go. Baking soda in the bath tub is a remedy from our grandmother’s days. Does baking soda do almost everything; it seems like a miracle homeopathic remedy? Coconut oil, olive oil, mineral oil and corn starch have all been recommended as all natural solutions.


For some babies none of the above remedies offer relief. Your doctor will prescribe the right prescription based on the exact type of rash your child has, the potential cause, and the duration. None of the above or below recommendations should take the place of a visit to your pediatrician if your child has a persistent rash. Many prescription diaper rashes are mixed by the pharmacist and not a specific off-the-shelf tube from a drug company. Based on this difference you might find it best to call around to various pharmacies to see what their price will be. You may find the best prices at the local, non-chain pharmacies. Even with good health insurance some of these prescriptions have been known to cost in excess of $100. You might find it worth your while to ask your pediatrician if it is possible to purchase the ingredients over the counter and make the mixture yourself. My pediatrician offered this information to me upfront. I was able to purchase the ingredients for $12 and my baby was better in 24 hours. For my son’s particular rash the mixture was equal parts 1% hydrocortisone cream and 1% Clotrimazole cream. Clotrimazole is an anti-fungal cream that you can typically find in the drug store with other sports rash creams.

Dr. Sears gives a wonderful, though more clinical, explanation of diaper rash and potential remedies on his website. In addition to the experts you may find the best advice comes from the car next to you in the day care pick-up line or from the other moms at the park. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for advice on diaper rash; everyone has been there for one reason or another.

What is your favorite remedy?