Treatments for cradle cap

Cradle cap is a condition in which your baby starts shedding yellowish or brownish scales from the head.  It is also known as infantile seborrheic dermatitis. It looks like dandruff and is liked to having an oily skin. Doctors however don’t know what exactly causes it. The mother’s hormones or a yeast infection are also thought to contribute to its occurrence. It is generally harmless and doesn’t affect the child in any way but if severe, it can cause itching. As baby grows, cradle cap will soon be a thing of the past. Despite this, cradle cap is not pretty and you may want to get rid of it especially if the baby’s scalp is itchy. There are several treatments for cradle cap which can help you get rid of it.

You can treat cradle cap by washing the infant child’s scalp with shampoos made specifically for fighting cradle cap. Loosening the flakes through a gentle scalp massage or brushing it off lightly with a soft brush should be effective. Shampooing the baby’s scalp frequently but not more than once a day also help to treat cradle cap. Regular shampooing keeps oil produced by the scalp from accumulating and creating a favorable environment for cradle cap to develop. Make sure that you rinse off all shampoo from the baby’s hair each time you wash.

Treatments for cradle cap

Treating cradle cap with natural oils

Pure natural oils such as olive oil, almond and coconut oil can be used to get rid of the flakes. Rub olive oil, almond or coconut oil on the baby’s scalp; leave it on for a while. After about 15 minutes clean it gently using a clean, soft brush or simply massage the scalp with your fingers.  A fine toothed comb can also be used to gently remove the flakes. You can apply coconut oil and leave on for the night then brush it off in the morning. Shea butter can also help in softening and getting rid of the scalp. Simply rub some Shea butter on the child’s head then comb the flakes off gently.

After brushing the flakes off, use a mild baby shampoo to wash off the oil from the baby’s scalp. Let the shampoo sit on the head for a short while then rinse it off thoroughly. This helps get rid of the oil better. You don’t want to leave the oil on the scalp as it can clog the baby’s pores and make a bad situation worse.


Many mothers swear by the effectiveness of Vaseline for getting rid of the flakes in cradle cap. Try it by simply applying Vaseline on the baby’s scalp at night.

Should you see a doctor?

For severe cases of cradle cap where nothing you try seems to work, it may be necessary to take your baby to a doctor. This is especially important if it has spread beyond the baby’s scalp to other parts of the body. If there’s any bleeding from the affected area, you should also talk to your doctor. He may prescribe an antidandruff shampoo or cortisone cream for scalp inflammation. If he determines that the cause is a fungal infection, he will prescribe an antifungal cream for you to use. Disclaimer: Information on this website is not medical or dental advice, its for general information only. For more accurate medical and dental information please contact your pediatrician and dentist.


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