What Is A Cradle Cap?
Cradle cap (also called infantile seborrheic dermatitis), is one of most common skin conditions in newborns as well as 3- to 4-year-old children. Cradle cap leads to rough or oily scaly patches on your baby’s the scalp.
Normally, this problem has no impact on health or development. However, in some special cases, it can cause irritation, itching, swelling, and infections.
What Causes Cradle Cap?
No one can say for sure what exactly causes cradle cap, it is believed to happen due to the increased mucus production of cystic glands.
A 2002 study conducted in UK has shown that excess mucus can have various reasons, including:
- Hormones from the mother pass on to the baby
- Some effects of the antibiotic (drugs taken during pregnancy)
- Overstimulate the baby’s oil-producing glands
- Some extreme weather
- Not keep the baby clean
- Food allergies
- The survival rate of yeast in baby’s digestive tract is high
Signs And Symptoms Of Skin Tags
Signs and symptoms of cradle cap may include:
- Dry and flaky patches on the scalp
- Baby’s skin looks red and irritated
- Hair loss
- Both oily and dry skin.
Most cradle cap is not regularly painful, however it can become red, irritated or infected in some way.
Home remedies for cradle cap
There is a great number of home remedies that can help remove your baby’s cradle cap at home safely and effectively.
- Baby shampoo
Keep your baby’s head clean by using a liquid cleanser (or mild baby shampoo) daily can help treat cradle cap fast. It is also useful to loosen dry flakes, keep your baby’s skin smooth and irritation free.
- Wet your baby’s hair with warm water
- Apply a small amount of liquid cleanser (mild baby shampoo) on the head and gently massage.
- Leave it on for one or two minutes before washing it off with warm water.
- Dry your baby’s hair with a soft towel
- Repeat this treatment once a day at least one week to get the best results.
- Olive Oil
Olive oil is one of the simplest ways to deal with common infant skin issues, including cradle cap. Due to its natural healing and moisturizing properties, this essential oil is useful to soften and remove scales effectively.
- Heat ½ tablespoon of olive oil
- Leave it on until it becomes cooler
- Gently massage this oil into your baby’s scalp before going to bed
- Wash it off by using mild baby shampoo and a soft brush to get rid of dry flakes.
- Apply this home remedy for cradle cap 2 – 4 times weekly, based on the severity of the problem.
- Almond Oil
Almond oil is also known as an effective treatment for getting rid of many skin problems. According to a 2011 study, almond oil works wonders when it comes to some baby’s skin conditions, the cradle cap is not an exception.
Thanks to its light texture, this oil can penetrate into your baby’s skin fast and safely. Massage your baby’s scalp directly with almond oil can help make it easy for dry and flaky patches to rinse off.
- Mix one teaspoon of almond oil with 3 -4 drops of tea tree oil and then stir it.
- Rub it on your baby’s head.
- Wait for at least 10 – 12 minutes.
- Using a soft baby brush to remove dry flakes before rinsing it off by a mild shampoo.
Repeat this treatment 4 – 5 times a week until you notice a difference.
- Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is believed to be one of the most effective home remedies for all skin conditions. Due to its antifungal and antibacterial properties, this oil can help remove infections and the complications involved. Moreover, it is also good for your baby’s sensitive skin.
- Place three or four drops of coconut oil in your palm of your hand.
- Rub your hands together until it becomes warmer
- Gently massage the scalp of the baby with your hands
- Wait for at least 15 – 20 minutes before washing your baby’s head with warm water or a mild shampoo.
Apply this home remedy 4 – 5 times a week until you are satisfied with the result.
- Breast Milk
We already know that breast milk contains medicinal properties which helps support a child’s healthy growth and reduce the risk of developing certain conditions. It is also one of the simplest way to deal with cradle cap effectively and safely.
- Squeeze the breast and take some milk into a bowl
- Massage your baby’s head with this breast milk
- Wait for 3 – 4 hours before washing it off with warm water
Repeat this natural treatment 3 – 4 times weekly until the symptoms disappear.
- Apple Cider Vinegar
For hundreds of years, apple cider vinegar has been taken advantage of to treat some skin conditions, including cradle cap. Many studies have suggested that the acidic property found in this vinegar is effective in getting rid of cradle cap in babies.
- Mix two teaspoons of ACV with a cup of warm water
- Gently massage your baby’s head with this solution
- Leave it on for 3 minutes
- Wash it off with a mild baby shampoo
- Repeat this treatment 2 – 3 times a week to get the best results.
- Baking Soda
You also can try using baking soda to relieve the symptoms of cradle cap at home. Due to its alkaline nature, it has been proven to help balance the pH level of the scalp and treat cradle cap quickly.
- Mix 2 – 3 teaspoons of baking soda with warm water to form a paste
- Apply this paste directly to your baby’s hair and scalp, then wait for 1 – 2 minutes.
- Rinse it off with a mild baby shampoo or warm water
- Apply this home remedy 4 – 5 times a week until your baby looks better.
This article is written by Ashley Bennet. She has worked and trained in the field of Nutrition and Health for over 3 years, consistently providing people with useful information about nutrition as well as helping them with their common health problems.