Balmex is approved for the treatment and prevention of diaper rash. The ointment from this line of products is also commonly used for protecting minor cuts, scrapes, and burns. Healthcare providers may occasionally recommend off-label uses of Balmex as well. Using the cream for skin rashes or irritations (other than diaper rash) would be considered an off-label use.
What Is Balmex Used For?
All Balmex® products are approved for treating and preventing diaper rash. Additionally, Balmex Multi-Purpose Healing Ointment is also approved for protecting minor cuts, scrapes, and burns, and Balmex Protection Powder is also approved for protection from wetness (like most baby powder products).
Balmex Multi-Purpose Healing Ointment should not be used on puncture wounds, deep wounds, animal bites, or serious burns.
Balmex and Diaper RashesDiaper rash is a common problem, with almost all babies having diaper rash at least occasionally. Even if you are very careful to change your baby's diapers frequently, moisture will still be in contact with your baby's skin for some period of time. This moistness, combined with irritation from urine or stool, irritating lotions or soaps, and chafing from clothing or diapers, can quickly lead to a diaper rash.
Usually, it is recommended to treat diaper rash by trying to keep your baby's skin clean and dry, with frequent diaper changes and as much "airing out" time as possible. Additionally, barrier products (like Balmex) are also very helpful for both preventing and treating diaper rash.
How Does Balmex Work?
Zinc oxide is an active ingredient in the diaper rash cream and powder. When applied to the skin, it acts as a barrier, helping to protect the skin from irritants and serving as a mild astringent (helping to dry oozing of minor irritation) and a weak antiseptic. White petrolatum (the active ingredient in Balmex Multi-Purpose Healing Ointment) also serves to form a protective barrier on the skin.
Cornstarch (in the powder) works by helping to reduce friction and absorb moisture. Contrary to popular belief, research suggests that cornstarch does not make yeast diaper rash worse.
All three Balmex products have inactive ingredients that are intended to promote healing, soothe the skin, and neutralize the irritants in dirty diapers.