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How to Deal With Cradle Cap

Cradle cap, or infantile seborrheic dermatitis, is a form of dandruff that sometimes plagues newborns. Although cradle cap is not harmful to your baby, it can leave behind scales and crusty patches that appear either white or yellow in color.

Cradle cap is mostly found on a baby’s scalp, but it can extend to the baby’s neck and face as well. Fortunately, parents can help their baby deal with a case of cradle cap.


Things You’ll Need

  • Baby oil
  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Mild baby shampoo
  • Dandruff control shampoo


5 Steps to Deal With Cradle Cap

How to Deal With Cradle Cap


1. Wait it out.

According to MayoClinic.com, cradle cap goes away on its own after a few months.


2. Loosen the scales by massaging baby oil over the cradle cap patches.

Do this for at least three minutes. If you don’t have baby oil, you can use olive oil instead.


3. Remove the scales by gently brushing them away with a soft-bristled brush.


4. Wash your baby’s hair with a mild baby shampoo to get rid of the baby oil.

KidsHealth.org recommends washing away the oil, as excess oil can cause additional cradle cap scales to develop.


5. Take your infant to see a pediatrician if the cradle cap is severe and not responding to home care.

Your pediatrician can recommend a dandruff control shampoo to use that is more effective than oil and soap. Shampoos with either coal tar, salicylic acid, selenium or zinc are the most effective.


Tips and Warnings

  • Hydrocortisone cream can be used on cradle cap patches you find on the baby’s body.
  • You should seek medical treatment from a professional if your child has cradle cap that covers a large area of his body, starts to lose hair or has patches that have become red or infected.

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