Parents and caregivers of infants can occasionally become concerned with a condition called cradle cap or crib cap. Cradle cap is the baby version of seborrheic dermatitis, a common skin disease that causes an itchy rash with flaky scales, typically occurring on the scalp, but it also can appear behind the ears, on the eyelids, eyebrows, nose, armpits, and groin.
According to the American Academy of the Family Physicians, the incidence is about 9.5 percent of baby girls and 10 percent of baby boys. Cradle cap appears in 70% of cases within the first three months of life, and the incidence declines thereafter.
Cradle cap is harmless and usually clears up on its own after a while. However, no baby, or parent, should have to be irritated by it. It is essential to know that the cradle cap is not contagious and is not a result of poor hygiene practices.
What is the Best Home Remedy for Cradle Cap?
Here are 12 effective natural home remedies for preventing and treating cradle cap:
- Gentle brushing of a baby’s head can break down the scales and remove cradle cap patches. A soft brush with gentle bristles is key, not one with sharp or hard bristles. Be-careful do not to pick or scrape at the flakes not to irritate tender baby skin. Special brushes like the Bean-B-Clean brush are both gentle and effective and can be found at major retailers, including Bed, Bath & Beyond, and buybuyBABY. Brush softly in one direction, removing flakes from the little strands of hair. This works with dry or wet hair.
- Natural baby shampoo is suitable for cleaning baby hair. Typically washing the hair no more than once per day is good. Simply wet the hair and scalp, softly massage the shampoo into the scalp, thoroughly rinse out all the shampoo and then dry with a soft towel. In every remedy, be careful not to scratch the skin and avoid scrapes with fingernails.
- Gentle scalp massages can be very soothing for the baby and can help loosen and remove flaky scales from the baby’s scalp and other places where it is found.
- There is a good variety of emollients commonly available that soften and smooth sensitive, tender baby skin. One of these is reliable Vaseline or purified petroleum jelly, which softens and helps maintain the skin’s moisture. You can apply a spoonful of petroleum jelly overnight and then wash it off with water and mild shampoo the next day.
- Olive oil is excellent to use because it contains vitamin E, which nurtures the skin and helps protect it from infections. Simply apply a few teaspoons of olive oil and gently massage it into the scalp. It can stay on the scalp for a few hours or even overnight.
- Baking soda might sound a little odd, but it helps absorb excessive body oil that may be clogging pores in the scalp. It is necessary to apply a diluted mixture of baking soda in water over the scalp and then wash it after 15 minutes. (This method is better for toddlers than for infants.)
- Tea tree oil, sometimes popular for the treatment of adult acne, helps control the excess secretion of oil in oil glands. Apply a mixture of 1:10 tea tree oil to water and gently massage it into the skin. After 20 minutes of absorption, wash it off with baby shampoo.
- Vegetable oil, commonly used in cooking, is an effective way to soothe the baby’s skin and loosen scale patches. It can be left on for about two hours and then removed with baby shampoo.
- Shea butter is an excellent moisturizer and can be used in generous amounts on the scalp to loosen infected skin areas. After allowing it to act, carefully scrub off the flaky areas with a soft brush and wipe off the area with a soft cloth or remove it with water.
- Avocado oil is another excellent emollient because of its nutritional value. The oils in avocado are loaded with chemicals that fight fungal infections.
- Almond oil is another oil that is rich in vitamin E. It is excellent for healthy skin as well as for cradle cap.
- Aloe vera is good for sunburn, as most people know, and it has a cooling effect on the skin. It should be applied sparingly to the skin of an infant, due to its cooling effect.
These home remedies can provide good treatment and comfort for a child with a cradle cap. However, if the baby’s skin becomes red and inflamed, or if the child shows symptoms of illness or fever, or if the skin bleeds easily, it is time to call a physician.
Is Coconut Oil Good for Cradle Cap?
Yes, coconut oil is good because it is rich in fatty acids and proteins. It can increase skin hydration and help to reduce water loss in dehydrated skin. Apply to the baby’s scalp, rinse after 20 minutes, and use a soft brush to gently comb their hair and remove loose flakes.
Can Apple Cider Vinegar Get Rid of Cradle Cap?
Apple cider vinegar is effective in reducing scalp dryness. Simply mix two amounts of apple cider vinegar with one amount of water. Apply to the scalp and keep it on scalp for 15 minutes. Then, wash off the liquid with warm water, keeping it out of the baby’s eyes.
Does Breast Milk Help with Cradle Cap?
Breast milk is a remarkable fluid that is filled with natural nutrients and antibodies. A smaller amount can be applied to the head to soothe sensitive skin. It is harmless to the skin and can be left for an extended time. Breast milk is naturally antiseptic and is great for relieving itchiness.
Find the Bean-B-Clean Brush at a Retailer Near You:
Cradle cap conditions can be effectively treated with simple home remedies. Key to most, if not all, these remedies are effective brushing with a soft brush. The revolutionary soothing cradle cap brush by Bean-B-Cleanis a gentle and highly effective way to deal with cradle cap. And it is available at major retailers.