How Do I Choose the Best Bottom Balm?

Erin J. Hill

There are various types of bottom balm, and choosing the right kind will depend on what you need it for. Most diaper rash creams aimed at treating an existing rash contain zinc oxide, although different brands may have varying textures and fragrances you can choose from. If you are looking for a skin protectant, choose a bottom balm that is designed for this purpose. These may include petroleum jelly, lanolin, or moisturizers. Choosing a product to use with your baby or yourself is typically a matter of personal preference unless an adverse reaction occurs in response to a particular balm.

Petroleum jelly, which can be used as a bottom balm.
Petroleum jelly, which can be used as a bottom balm.

Bottom balm is most commonly used for infants who are still in diapers. When constant moisture is against the skin, rashes and other irritation can occur. This can lead to a condition commonly referred to as diaper rash. Although diaper rash is not serious, it can cause pain and discomfort. While babies are most commonly afflicted with this condition, adults can have similar chaffing or irritation due to excessive sweating on or around the groin.

Many parents say that certain bottom balms work better for individual babies.
Many parents say that certain bottom balms work better for individual babies.

Balms can be applied several times per day until the rash is healed. Various balms may have different characteristics, so you might still like one type over another. Some are thick and creamy so that they stick to the skin more thoroughly. This allows them to protect against additional moisture so rashes can heal more quickly. Others are thinner but they absorb into the skin better to soothe irritation.

Many parents say that certain bottom balm works better for individual babies. It may take some trial and error before you find an option that works the way you want. If your baby has a reaction to any specific bottom balm, discontinue use of that particular type and of any others containing the same active ingredient. Signs of a reaction can occur increased redness, bumps, or even bleeding. Contact your doctor if a diaper rash lasts for more than a week, gets worse with treatment, or is accompanied by any additional symptoms.

Other types of bottom balm use more natural ingredients and moisturizers. If you want to avoid parabens and other chemicals, or if your baby has sensitive skin, one of these may be your best bet. Organic or natural balms may contain essential oils like coconut oil or jojoba oil. These ingredients work primarily as natural moisturizers and skin protectants for the prevention of diaper rash.

If you are using bottom balm on yourself, you may be able to find options made for adults. These typically have similar ingredients, but they may be stronger. As with infants, the type you use will depend on your own personal preferences. Look for products that protect the skin as well as heal rashes. To prevent rashes in infants and adults, remove moisture from the area as soon as possible. Using an absorbent powder may also help.

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