My CR surgeon and her assistant recommended to first pat some convatec stomahesive protective powder over the entire area (use a cotton ball), and then apply protective cream on top of that (they recommended calmoseptine, but use whatever's your favorite).
The powder is healing, the cream is both healing and protective. Keep it on all day: after every BM, before bed, etc. A bidet or squirt bottle rather than TP helps immensely, too.
Like you, I had irritation and cracks, but I've been following this regime for a couple of months, and things are now cleared up. Hope this helps---