Treating Cradle Cap

Baby girl with cradle cap

First thing is first, if your baby’s scalp is dry and flaky skin, or a thick scaly, yellow or brown crust, don’t panic. Cradle cap (seborrhoeic dermatitis) is very common, and although not pleasant to look at, is perfectly harmless. It generally clears up from 6 months to a year, depending on the severity, and will then remain nothing more than a distant memory.

Here are some treatments you can try in assisting it’s removal.

  • Ensure that you don’t pick at the scales as this can lead to infection.
  • Massage baby’s scalp with your fingertips or a very soft brush so as not to break the skin, and gently brush out the loose flakes with a comb.
  • Wash baby’s hair more frequently, but no more than once a day. There are some shampoos available specifically designed for cradle cap. Always  ensure that you thoroughly wash out the shampoo.
  • Natural olive or almond oil rubbed into the scalp can help too. Leave it in for a short while, say 10-15 minutes, then gently comb out the flakes. Wash the oil out afterward with shampoo and rinse thoroughly.
  • There is normally no need to seek medical attention for cradle cap, although you may wish to consult your GP if areas become inflamed, or if you see patches of it on baby’s face or body.

For further reading on Cradle Cap, visit

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