Diaper rash is a common problem, affecting as many as 1 in 3 babies. It can be caused by wetness, bacteria, and contact with stool or urine
A baby’s skin is delicate and can easily become irritated. A bad case of diaper rash can cause pain and discomfort for your child, and it can be difficult to get rid of the rash without the help of good diaper cream.
Zinc oxide diaper cream helps to soothe and protect your child’s skin from diaper rash. Our cream is free of harsh chemicals, fragrances, parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and gluten. It is also pediatrician tested and approved for use on newborns and infants.
What is Zinc Oxide?
Zinc oxide is a white powder that occurs naturally as the mineral zincite, but most of it is manufactured by synthetic means. It can be used in many different ways and products like cosmetics or food supplements to give them an added boost against infection; there are even studies showing how these compounds may help treat acne!
Zinc oxide is a very common ingredient in diaper rash cream because it has a number of helpful benefits. It is able to dry excess fluid from the skin, which can be extremely helpful against chafing and irritation caused by bodily fluids. Zinc oxide also reduces the number of moisture bacteria needs to thrive on your child’s skin, helping to prevent diaper rash.
Zinc oxide can protect the skin against up to 30% of UVB radiation, which means it has some sun-blocking properties! It also gives a physical barrier between your child’s skin and their soiled diaper, preventing further irritation. Many diaper creams will combine zinc oxide with other compounds like petroleum jelly or dimethicone to create a thicker, more protective layer on their skin.
How Does Zinc Oxide Work
Zinc oxide is an inert (chemically nonreactive) substance that helps protect your baby’s skin from moisture and further irritation. This cream is used to treat and prevent diaper rash, but it can also be used on other types of rashes or irritation. A gentle alternative to some diaper rash creams, this ointment is made without harsh chemicals and fragrances, making it safe for your baby.
Zinc oxide cream can be used to treat a variety of skin conditions because of its barrier-forming properties. It is an excellent alternative to hydrocortisone creams which have been linked to side effects such as thinning of the skin. When applied to the skin, it forms a protective barrier that protects underlying tissue from irritants and prevents further damage.
What are the benefits of using diaper rash cream with zinc oxide?
When your baby’s skin is exposed to wetness for too long, they can become irritated and develop painful red bumps.
The most common reason for this irritation is bacteria, usually from feces or urine.
The compounds in zinc oxide diaper cream can help to soothe and protect your child’s delicate skin from the irritation caused by diaper rash.
Zinc oxide also has some sun-blocking properties, which means it can be great against chafing! It should usually be applied after every change, particularly if your baby is in a wet or poopy nappy.
What are the side effects of using a zinc oxide diaper cream?
One of the biggest benefits of using this ingredient in your baby’s diaper rash cream is that it is unlikely to cause any negative reactions or side effects. It won’t irritate their eyes, and it shouldn’t cause any allergic reactions.
Zinc oxide cream is generally considered safe to use on most skin types and for children of all ages, but if you notice anything unusual don’t hesitate to speak with your baby’s doctor. However, if you have an allergy to zinc or cod liver oil you should seek advice before using diaper rash products that contain it.
Zinc oxide should not be taken internally, if your child accidentally swallows some ask your doctor for advice.
Can Zinc Oxide be used on a baby’s skin for treating diaper rash?
Zinc oxide is great for healing and preventing diaper rashes, as it creates a natural barrier to protect your baby’s delicate skin.
If you’ve used an ointment containing zinc oxide on your child before, you’ll know that they also have a soothing effect on irritated skin.
At diaper change time, always change soiled diapers promptly and keep the diaper area very clean and dry. If a baby is left sitting in wet or soiled diapers for any length it will lead to diaper dermatitis or chafed skin. Whilst zinc oxide will help protect a baby’s skin from wet diapers you should not rely solely on this and should be changing wet diapers frequently.
At diaper change time keep baby’s skin clean and dry. Allow the diaper area to air dry before you put a fresh nappy back on. Zinc oxide is the active ingredient and will provide effective treatment for protecting chafed skin. Check any diaper cream you buy is also paraben-free.
How can I use this ingredient in my own homemade diaper rash cream?
You can add zinc oxide powder directly to your cream mixture. This can be done by weight or volume, but you should always run these ingredients through a sieve to avoid clumps in your skin treatment. Add small amounts of zinc oxide powder at a time until the consistency is right for your recipe!
We’ve done a whole series on the best natural treatments for diaper rash here.
Zinc Oxide Diaper Rash Butt Paste Recipe (40% Zinc Oxide)
This 40% maximum strength diaper rash cream will effectively treat severe rashes. If you only have a milder rash then you can cut it down. Don’t go below 10% unless you are just using it as a barrier ointment for diaper changes.
- 2 tablespoon shea butter (shea butter works wonders for diaper rash)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil or aloe vera gel (read about coconut oil for diaper rash and aloe vera healing diaper rash)
- 2 tablespoon non-nano zinc oxide powder
- Optional essential oils
Grind the ingredients together in a bowl using a small spoon. If you want to increase the thickness of your paste, add cornstarch one teaspoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency – the paste should stick to itself but not to your fingers. Store this cream in an airtight container with a lid, and use it daily on the affected area until the rash is fully healed.
When using zinc oxide always look for non-nano zinc oxide. Non-nano ‘sits’ on top of the skin and does not get absorbed. You also want to get a pharmaceutical grade which is free of metals, mercury and lead!
What Precautions Should I Take When Using Zinc Oxide Diaper Rash Creams?
Zinc oxide is only one of the ingredients in ointments used to treat diaper rash, and you should check that your ointment doesn’t contain ingredients such as petrolatum which are harsh on your baby’s sensitive skin. Doing so will prevent further irritation and give them an extra layer of protection against wetness and other irritants.
You should always be extra careful about the ingredients you use when making your own products for your child. This is especially true if you are using zinc oxide cream on a baby, as it will often be applied to areas of their skin that are more sensitive. Ensure that your formula contains 100% pure essential oils and try to avoid additives such as synthetic fragrances or dyes.
Don’t apply any essential oils directly to your child’s skin without first diluting them with a carrier oil such as jojoba – this will reduce the risk of an allergic reaction and ensure that they don’t experience any discomfort.
Zinc oxide should not be used on deep wounds or open sores. Whilst allergies to zinc oxide are rare they can happen so always look for signs of an allergic reaction.
Is Zinc Oxide safe with Cloth Diapers?
Yes, zinc oxide is safe to use with cloth diapers. It may stain your diapers but does not cause any of the other issues often associated with diaper creams and cloth diapers like repelling.
If you are using cloth diapers, you will want to be extra careful about what products you are using on your baby’s skin. You should avoid any products that might cause buildup or repellent reactions with the fabric of your diapers. It doesn’t matter whether you use cloth or cloth diapers, cloth diapering does not cause diaper rash.
It is safest to use products that do not contain any essential oils, as these ingredients may leave behind residue that can cause problems with your diapers. You should also look out for other ingredients that may react with the fabric of your baby’s cloth nappy, such as petroleum jelly. We’ve done a full guide to which diaper creams are safe when cloth diapering.
Can Zinc Oxide be Used for Yeast Infections?
Yes. Most antifungal medicines will include zinc oxide in their ingredients for diaper rash treatment. Zinc oxide is usually the protective part that keeps a baby’s skin from becoming wet and irritated. It’s often combined with an antifungal element that kills the yeast. Zinc oxide will not treat a bacterial or fungal infection so should be combined with other ingredients that do treat these.
Zinc oxide on its own will not kill the yeast spores. But it will protect the skin from yeast overgrowth. If your not sure what type of diaper rash you have, read our guide to the different types of diaper rash there are. Knowing which diaper rash your child has will mean you can treat it more effectively.
What percentage of zinc oxide should be in diaper rash cream?
10% is the minimum percentage of zinc oxide you want to look for in a diaper rash cream. It should be at least 20% but about 40% is ideal for quick treatment for a severe rash.
If making your own homemade diaper rash cream then you can increase or decrease the amount of zinc oxide depending on the severity of the diaper rash discomfort. A thick diaper rash cream with only 10% zinc oxide is great to protect a baby’s delicate skin if they do not have a rash, it’s more there to prevent diaper rash discomfort. If your child has a rash then increase the % of zinc oxide in the diaper rash cream.
The Bottom Line On Zinc Oxide to Treat and Prevent Diaper Rash
Zinc oxide diaper rash creams are a great way to treat and prevent diaper rashes. However, there is no one size fits all when it comes to the right product for your child. You should always be careful about what ingredients you use in these products because they could cause allergic reactions or other irritations that can make them worse.
And if you’re making your own homemade zinc oxide cream then you’ll want to adjust the amount of zinc oxide depending on whether or not your baby has a diaper rash.
The bottom line? Zinc oxide may not heal a yeast infection but it will protect their skin from irritation caused by wetness and other irritants during treatment!
This article was written by: Gian MIller – Full-Time Writer, Baby Whisperer & Dad of 3.
Gian spends a lot of his time writing. A self-proclaimed baby whisperer, Gian has been through it all with his own children and is passionate about sharing his hard-won wisdom with other parents. When he’s not writing or changing diapers, you can find him playing the guitar or watching baseball (or preferably both at the same time).