It is estimated that cradle cap (Seborrheic Dermatitis) affects 10 percent of infants under the age of one month, and 70 percent at three months and under. Occurrences drop drastically after the first few years of your baby’s life, and a small percentage of cases can last up to a year. Cradle cap is usually located on the scalp and can spread to the area behind the ears. It can also appear in other areas of the face, as well as in the armpit or groin area.
What is Cradle Cap?
Also known as infantile seborrheic dermatitis, dermatitis is a common condition in babies that is an infant version of seborrheic dermatitis that causes adult dandruff. The crusty, scaly patches can be white or yellow, dry or greasy.
Dermatitis is neither contagious nor a sign of poor hygiene. It can be concerning to look at and may appear to be uncomfortable for your baby, but the good news is that it’s harmless, and it doesn’t hurt. However, if there is bleeding or if your baby is also sick or has a fever, contact your pediatrician.
Best Ways to Get Rid of Cradle Cap
Always remember to be gentle with your child’s skin. Irritating the scalp too much can break the skin or cause tiny cuts, which can get infected. If your baby still has a soft spot on her head, be extra gentle there.
1. Shampoo Regularly
Always use a gentle baby shampoo that is hypoallergenic and without fragrance. Hypoallergenic doesn’t necessarily mean fragrance-free. The added fragrance is usually chemically-derived and can further irritate Baby’s already irritated scalp.
2. Apply Oil
Apply a few drops of oil and gently massage it directly into the scales. Good options for oils include:
- baby oil
- mineral oil
- coconut or sunflower oils
Michele Ramien is a pediatric dermatologist and clinical associate professor at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary. He recommends avoiding essential oils, as dermatitis”can be a predictor of eczema and those with eczema are more likely to become allergic to highly scented products, such as geranium and tea tree oils.”
Also, keep in mind that although essential oils are plant-derived and natural, they have been distilled into their essence and are therefore potent. Essential oils require dilution at the very least and are best avoided altogether with babies.
Let the oil sit for a few minutes to soak into the dry patches.
3. Rinse Scalp
Rinse thoroughly with warm water, gently rubbing the area to help remove the scales.
As noted above, use a gentle, hypoallergenic, unscented shampoo. Let it sit for a bit to soak up the oils.
Rinse again with warm water to wash out the shampoo, oil, and scales.
6. Repeat if Necessary
If it’s necessary, shampoo again and rinse out. You want to be careful not to wash more than once a day, which will further exacerbate the problem.
Gently pat Baby’s head and hair dry with a towel.
8. Brush Scalp
Brushing your baby’s scalp approximately 30 minutes after shampooing can be effective at brushing out the scales. When you brush, move slowly in one direction on the affected area.
Brush through the hair to remove the flakes from each strand.
9. Brush Daily
You can brush wet or dry hair, but be on the alert for over brushing, which will leave the skin red and agitated.
Dermatitis can be a persistent condition and may take repeated treatments over a period of months, so be patient and use the right tools. If the condition seems particularly severe, your baby’s doctor may recommend using a medicated shampoo as treatment.
Reduce Cradle Cap Today
To help you effectively remove that dry, flaky skin from your infant’s head, we designed a revolutionary, reusable infant cradle cap brush that is safe, soft, and soothing on your baby’s scalp. We created it for our first grandchild who developed dermatitis, because at that time, there was nothing remotely like it on the market.
We researched extensively to get it just right, and over a decade later, we are still making and selling our Bean-b-Clean baby cradle cap brush to happy parents, grandparents, and most importantly, babies.
Easy to use and safe, when used regularly, our Bean-b-Clean brush will keep your baby’s scalp clean and healthy.
Visit us today to start treating your baby’s cradle cap.