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A cradle cap is a pesky little head condition that dulls skin, hair, and eyebrows. It can result from poor hygiene or a reaction to particular medications. If you have a cradle cap on your child’s scalp, plenty of products can help you solve the problem quickly and easily.

What Is Cradle Cap?

Cradle cap is the common term for seborrheic dermatitis, a skin condition that causes dandruff-like skin scaling and irritation. It’s typically caused by a scalp yeast infection, though it can also develop after using certain medications. The cradle cap appears as scaly patches that appear on the head. They range in size from small spots to large, raised areas. They generally arise on the scalp and are more noticeable during warm weather. As the condition worsens, more patches may appear, along with dryness and flaking of the scalp.

It can occur on other areas of the skin; it most often happens on the scalp. Cradle cap is most common in newborns and infants. It may or may not clear up, especially if left untreated. Keeping the rash clean and healthy is important so it can go away as quickly as possible.

1. Brush Your Baby’s Scalp

Brushing your baby’s hair frequently can help clear away the flakes of skin that cause cradle caps. Head lice are also common in areas with cradle caps, but brushing can help get rid of them and discourage them from making a home on your baby’s scalp. Daily brushing helps stimulate healthy skin growth and makes the scales easier to wash off. Use a soft hairbrush or baby comb. Start by brushing your baby’s scalp in small, even circles. Make sure you don’t apply any pressure that will hurt your baby or make them uncomfortable.

2. Hydrate the Scalp

It’s important to keep the scalp moist and healthy. This helps reduce the visibility of the scales. Use an all-purpose baby moisturizer daily to improve hair and skin health. Use a mild baby shampoo if your doctor has advised you to use one. Products for cradle cap should contain mild ingredients that are gentle for your baby’s sensitive skin. Use a gentle moisturizing shampoo and spend extra time rinsing the shampoo out to clear it away.

3. Wash the Baby’s Hair

Children with cradle caps often have chronic dandruff. The scales or flakes in their hair get trapped in clumps, causing them to become thick and thick. Be sure to routinely wash your baby at the start of every day and throughout the day. Use a baby shampoo that doesn’t contain harsh chemicals or other ingredients that can irritate the skin. After you rinse away the shampoo, make sure you dry your baby’s hair well so that their scalp feels less moist and comfortable. Massage the shampoo into your baby’s scalp and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing. Use warm water for bathing, and make sure you rinse thoroughly.

4. Apply Prescription Creams

Different creams are available over-the-counter and by prescription to help clear cradle caps. These creams contain ingredients such as selenium sulfide, which helps reduce skin inflammation. Prescription callous-removal products are often used to treat the scales and flakes that develop on the scalp. Head lice kits can be found at most drug stores, including natural ingredients that kill and eliminate the lice without harming your baby’s scalp. The medication kills off the fungus that causes seborrheic dermatitis and improves scalp health.

5. Try Essential Oils, if OK’d by Your Pediatrician

Essential oils, such as lavender or tea tree, are believed to help clear up cradle cap. Dilute with carrier oil and apply to the baby’s scalp with a cotton swab. Use a few drops of extra virgin olive oil or almond oil as a natural carrier for the essential oils. These can be applied after every bath to improve skin and hair health.

6. Loosen and Remove the Scales

If your baby has particularly thick scales on their scalp, you can try a specialized treatment called an enzyme peel. This treatment loosens the scales and helps relieve some of the itchings that often come with cradle cap. It’s usually only recommended for very severe cases of cradle cap. Talk to your doctor about the type that may be right for your baby.


The different aspects of cradle cap are presented above. It is not medically a disease and can thus be cured easily with the right products and medication. It needs a sustained effort to get rid of the cradle cap, which is difficult for pediatricians to treat and diagnose.