Natural Remedies for Cradle Cap

Natural Remedies for Cradle Cap

July 19, 2019

If your baby has developed scaly, thick bits of dry skin on their scalp, it’s most likely cradle cap. This infant dry scalp condition is found in up to 70% of newborn babies and is essentially the baby version of dandruff, minus the itchy discomfort. In other words, it’s completely harmless.

Although cradle cap won’t cause any harm, it may spread if left as is — but there are some things you can do to help it disappear. Read on for a few simple, natural remedies for cradle cap so your baby’s head can be smooth once again.

Brush It Away

Although cradle cap can be removed by brushing, it’s a bit trickier than just running a comb or brush over their heads. This cradle cap care is best done during bath time when baby’s head is already wet with baby shampoo rubbed in their hair. First, loosen the dry skin by gently rubbing it with a wet washcloth. Then, you’ll want to go over the affected areas with a small, soft-bristled brush or a fine-toothed comb. You may need to apply some light pressure as you run the comb or brush over your little one’s cradle cap — just be mindful of the soft spots on baby’s head. Try brushing in different directions to better loosen the pieces of dry skin.

Apply Oil

Hydrating the skin on your little one’s scalp will help get rid of cradle cap. Test a small amount of oil — coconut, olive, or almond — on your baby’s skin the first time you use it to be sure it doesn’t cause any irritation. Once you know it’s safe to use on your baby’s skin, gently massage it over the affected areas of their scalp to loosen the scales of cradle cap. Let it sit for up to an hour, then wash it with shampoo to remove the oil. If the cradle cap is still holding tight, try brushing or combing while the shampoo is rubbed in their hair.

Wash Using a Special Shampoo

If you’re not able to brush away the cradle cap, you may want to try using a shampoo that’s specifically formulated for removing the dry skin. You can find it in stores or make your own. Just be sure to use one designed for babies’ sensitive skin. Shampooing your baby’s hair too often will strip their heads of natural oils so keep it limited to just two or three times a week.

Try Essential Oils

There is some evidence that antimicrobial essential oils can help clear up cradle cap that’s caused by yeast (although most cradle cap isn’t caused by yeast). Anti-inflammatory essential oils can also soothe the scalp. However, there are some essential oils that may cause harm to your baby’s sensitive skin so it’s best to consult with your pediatrician and a certified aromatherapist first.

If cradle cap remains after these methods are tried and tested, it may be an indicator of an imbalance in your baby’s system. You’ll want to consult with your pediatrician before doing anything else. Your provider may suggest that your little one needs to increase their probiotic intake in order to better balance the bacteria in their gut. This can simply be a matter of choosing a formula that contains probiotics or, for breastfed babies, increasing mama’s intake of probiotics. Also reach out to your pediatrician if the cradle cap looks red or agitated or if it starts to spread to the face or body.
Once the scales of cradle cap are removed, wash your baby’s hair a couple of times each week to prevent them from building up again.

What remedies have you tried for how to get rid of cradle cap? We’d love to hear any tips you have in the comments below!

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