Cradle cap can be an annoyance to a baby and parent. Cradle cap is flaky, dry skin on the scalp or thick, oily, yellowish, brown scaling and crusty patches.
It is not a serious condition unless it starts to spread to other areas, bleeds, or if it begins to pus. If any of these symptoms occur, you should contact your pediatrician.
There is a bit of speculation about the cause of cradle cap. Most believe the cause of cradle cap is hormone related, in which case hormones from the mother cause the overstimulation of the baby’s seborrheic glands. There is also speculation that fungal infection can cause it. There is no definite answer. However, it is not contagious.
Cradle cap care and treatment are pretty simple. If your baby has cradle cap, you can try some of the following;
• Shampoo your baby’s hair at least once daily, and not more than this. When you use shampoo or soap on your baby’s hair, you should also make sure to rinse out all of the product because leaving some shampoo on your baby's head will make the condition worse instead of better. Make a gentle, natural breast milk soap, perfect for treating dry skin.
• You can also use a shampoo designed for cradle cap care but consult your physician before using a strong shampoo on your baby. Never use adult shampoo on your baby’s head.
• Breast milk can be squirted on your baby's head and combed out to remove flakes. More interesting uses of breast milk.
• You can also try an oil remedy. You need to use a small amount of olive, coconut, or almond oil (I've used regular vegetable oil, which works just as well) and gently massage into your baby’s scalp. Leave this on for fifteen minutes, then wash your baby’s hair with shampoo. Now you can brush out most of the flakes and scales with a soft baby comb.
• Apple cider vinegar: Mix equal parts water and apple cider vinegar and apply it to the scalp. Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing and shampooing the hair.
Cradle cap can also occur on a baby’s eyebrows, and the same treatment can be used. Just try to avoid getting soap or shampoo in your baby’s eyes.
Cradle cap is not a cause for serious concern, and you can get rid of the cradle cap with natural home remedies most of the time.
Getting Rid of Cradle Cap With Oil
Using Coconut Oil
To remove cradle cap from a baby's head using coconut oil, follow these steps:
- Warm up a small amount of coconut oil: Place a small amount of coconut oil in a bowl and warm it up slightly by placing the bowl in hot water. Be sure to test the temperature of the oil before applying it to your baby's scalp to ensure it is not too hot.
- Massage the oil into the scalp: Gently massage the warm coconut oil into your baby's scalp, being careful to avoid getting it into the eyes.
- Let the oil sit: Allow the coconut oil to sit on the scalp for a few minutes.
- Shampoo the hair: When you are ready to remove the coconut oil, wet your baby's hair and gently shampoo the hair using a mild, baby-safe shampoo. Be sure to rinse the hair thoroughly to remove all of the oil.
- Comb out the scales with a soft baby brush.
- Repeat as needed: Repeat this process a few times a week until the cradle cap disappears.
It is important to be gentle when massaging the coconut oil into the scalp and to avoid scratching or picking at the scales, as this can irritate the skin and cause further irritation. If the cradle cap does not improve with treatment or if it becomes severe, it is important to speak with a healthcare provider for further evaluation and treatment.
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