Cradle cap is essentially dandruff on baby scalps. Scaly patches of skin show up on the scalp. It’s not dangerous or uncomfortable for a baby, just unsightly for adults. Our instinct may be to pick at the flakes of skin but doctors recommend leaving it alone because picking at the flakes can cause infection. Cradle cap usually goes away on its own in a few months. But, if looking at the flakey scalp is driving you crazy you can try some gentle techniques to help remove the dandruff. Here’s what to try:
1. Wash the baby’s hair with mild shampoo. Rinse hair and scalp thoroughly.
2. Simply loosen scales by gently massaging the baby’s scalp using a clean, very soft-bristled brush. There are plenty of Brushes for Cradle Cap to purchase (see links below).
3. Holistic treatments include massaging the baby’s scalp with baby oil, coconut oil, almond oil, Calendula Cream, or Vitamin E Oil and let the oil or cream absorb for 15-minutes. Then shampoo to remove any excess oil and gently brush away dry skin. Or make a gentle paste of one part baking soda and one part water and let sit on scalp for one minute just before giving the baby a bath and rinse it off.
4. The pediatrician may recommend medicated shampoo or lotion for severe or persistent cradle cap.