13.2.2 Barrier products

The BNF states that barrier creams are not a substitute for adequate nursing care, or regular nappy changing (babies), and it is doubtful that they are any more effective than the traditional compound zinc ointments.

NHS England (NHSE) has published new prescribing guidance for various common conditions for which over-the-counter (OTC) items should not be routinely prescribed in primary care (quick reference guide). One of these conditions is nappy rash.

Many of these products are cheap to buy and are readily available OTC along with advice from pharmacies. Some self-care medicines are available from shops and supermarkets. Please click here for further information, exceptions, and a patient leaflet.

NB: Cavilon® cream and Proshield are included as part of the Wound management chapter but should not be used for routine barrier cream application.

  • Cream (£3.51 = 500g)


  • Nappy rash
  • Urinary rash (not suitable for use on patients with continence pads)
  • Pressure sores


  1. Tube has longer in-use shelf life than pots; only a small amount is required for each application.
  2. Water repellent, protects skin from moisture, irritants, chafing and contamination with yeasts or bacteria.
  • Cream (£3.75 = 350g) (£5.36 = 500g)


  • For nappy and urinary rash; minor wounds
Zinc and castor oil
  • Ointment (£5.34 = 500g)


  • For nappy and urinary rash
  • Cream (£5.25 = 400g) (£6.56 = 500g)


  • Nappy rash
  • Pressure sores


  1. Sudocrem® is water repellent; protects skin from moisture, irritants and chafing.
  2. Reduces inflammation, weak local anaesthetic action.
  • Nappy rash ointment (£2.24 = 30g) (£37.33 = 500g)


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