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Desitin is a line of diaper rash ointments that are available over-the-counter (OTC). There are three different products in this line; all three are barrier products that are approved to treat and prevent diaper rashes. The ointments are applied liberally as often as necessary, typically after every diaper change.

What Is Desitin?

Desitin® is a brand of non-prescription diaper rash products. There are currently three different Desitin products available, including:
  • Desitin Original ointment -- 40 percent zinc oxide
  • Desitin Creamy® ointment -- 13 percent zinc oxide
  • Desitin Clear ointment -- vitamins A and D in white petrolatum.
(Click Desitin Uses for more information on what the products are used for, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes Desitin?

These products were originally made by Pfizer Consumer Healthcare; however, Pfizer Consumer Healthcare has since been acquired by Johnson & Johnson.

How Does Desitin Work?

The active ingredient in Desitin Original and Creamy ointments is zinc oxide, a chemical compound. Its chemical symbol is ZnO. A molecule of zinc oxide consists of one zinc atom bound to one oxygen atom.
When applied to the skin, zinc oxide helps to protect the skin from irritants and may also serve as a mild astringent (helping to dry oozing of minor irritation) and a weak antiseptic. The inactive ingredients in these products (such as lanolin or cod liver oil) also help to protect and condition the skin.
Desitin Clear contains vitamin A and D in white petrolatum and works by forming a protective barrier.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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