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Diaper Rash Creams and Ointments

Finding Diaper Rash Creams and Ointments

Most barrier diaper rash products are available over-the-counter (OTC, without a prescription) and can be found in the baby sections of most stores. Some barrier products that are not specific to infants, such as petroleum jelly or Aquaphor ointment, may be found in the lotion section.
Antifungal and corticosteroid creams and ointments are also available without a prescription, but you will have to search beyond the baby section to find them. Clotrimazole (an often recommended antifungal) is usually found in the athlete's foot section, and miconazole is found in the women's vaginal yeast infection section.
Hydrocortisone cream is typically found in the first aid section. Again, do not use hydrocortisone or antifungal products to treat a diaper rash unless your healthcare provider specifically recommends that you do so.
Compounded treatments, such as cholestyramine in Aquaphor, are available only with a prescription. Make sure to give your pharmacist plenty of time to make such products (you might want to drop the prescription off and come back later, rather than waiting impatiently with a cranky baby).
There is also one commercially available (not compounded), prescription-only diaper rash ointment available -- Vusion® ointment, which contains miconazole (an antifungal), zinc oxide (a barrier skin protectant), and white petrolatum (also a barrier skin protectant).

Using Creams and Ointments to Treat Diaper Rash

As a general rule, barrier creams and ointments should be applied liberally in a thick layer. Buy the largest size available to avoid the temptation to skimp on applying the cream or ointment. These products should be applied after each diaper change. If your child sleeps through the night, be sure to apply an extra thick layer before bedtime.
Antifungal or corticosteroid products, on the other hand, should be applied sparingly. Depending on your healthcare provider's instructions, you may not need to apply these products after each diaper change.
Of course, be sure to follow all the other recommendations for properly treating and avoiding diaper rash. Change the diaper frequently, cleanse the diaper area thoroughly but gently, and air out the area as much as practically possible.
It is often recommended to leave the baby undiapered for half an hour after each diaper change, but most parents find this to be an impractical suggestion. It is also often suggested to avoid baby wipes, instead using soft clothes dipped in warm water. Again, most parents find this suggestion to be anything but practical, and many healthcare providers feel that some of the high-quality "sensitive" baby wipes now available are a good alternative.
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