Cradle Cap Remedies

cradle capDo you know what cradle cap is? If no, count yourself lucky. Cradle cap, or seborrheic dermatitis, is a kind of waxy scalp buildup that’s common in babies, and often found around the hairline (adults and children can get it too). It’s not uncomfortable for babies, and it usually clears up on its own eventually, but it’s unsightly for sure.

You can help speed up the healing process by rubbing a little olive or coconut oil into the affected area, and using your fingers or a very soft toothbrush to work it in and gently exfoliate the area (don’t get too rough or it will irritate the skin, and your baby). Let the oil sit for about ten minutes, then wash your baby’s hair like normal with baby shampoo. It may take two washes to get the oil worked out of her hair. You can repeat this daily or every other day until the patch has cleared.

This method worked for both of my kids’ cradle cap, but if you’re dealing with a persistent case of it, you can also moisturize the area after the bath with a gentle lotion (some people select ones with calendula in the formula as it’s thought to help the condition as well). If you live in a dry climate, running a humidifier may help a bit as well. Dr Sears recommends a fish oil or omega 3 supplement to help clear cradle cap.

If it won’t budge, you can use an over-the-counter dandruff shampoo like Nizoral or Selsun Blue. Talk to your pediatrician before using one of these, and take extra precautions to make sure the products don’t get into your baby’s eyes.

Once it clears, continue to wash your baby’s hair regularly using baby shampoo, and take care to massage his scalp each time you wash. This gentle exfoliation will help prevent the condition from returning.

Meaghan Howard is a stay-at-home mom to two little boys, and currently lives with her family and her fur family overseas.

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