How To Get Rid Of Cradle Cap Fast
Cradle cap is the child version of seborrheic dermatitis. Seborrheic dermatitis is actually dandruff of adults. So, cradle cap, also like dandruff, occurs in children where the skin of the baby's scalp becomes thick and flaky. There is patchy scaling or thick crust with oily or dry yellow or white flakes.
It is a quite common condition found in new-born usually 2 weeks to 12 months. Cradle cap is not itchy or painful and self-limiting in most cases. Parents often become anxious about it. Typically, the child does not have this on his first birthday. But sometimes it may last for as long as 4 years of age.
Cradle cap is harmless, and there aren't any complications. But parents don't like it for their baby as it brings about some cosmetic concern. Although it clears up of its own, you can make the process faster by taking care. There isn't any medication for this. As fungi mostly cause it called Malassezia; Some shampoo works well because of having an antifungal agent. All you need to do is take care of your baby, keep the scalp clean and dry.
Things to be noted that a baby's skin is 30% thinner than an adult and loses moisture twice quicker. That's why it is much more delicate than adult skin. Make sure you are gentle with the baby's skin.
1. Brush your baby's scalp
Brushing your baby's scalp regularly is an excellent way to remove most of its head's flakes. Be careful about picking flakes from the scalp. It may cause more irritation or bleeding. It is better not to use an adult brush or ordinary brush for children. You may find special brushes that are just made for cradle cap. How to brush thoroughly:
- Move the brush in one direction, gently brush over the affected area of the scalp.
- Continue brushing to the end of the hair to remove the flakes.
- It can be done in both wet and dry hair.
Brush once a day. If you notice any rash or redden skin brush less often.
2. Keep Hydrated the Scalp
Keeping scalp hydrated is a good way of losing flakes—pure plant oil such as olive oil, coconut oil, almond oil, or baby oil. Peanut oil can cause irritation or an allergic reaction so that it should be avoided. Before continue to use oil, perform a test, whether it causes any reaction or not. Apply a little amount of oil in the affected area and see if there is any change. Gently massage the oil and leave it for about 15 minutes. Then wash the scalp with shampoo. Some essential oil recommended by doctors can be used too.
Dermatologists usually do not recommend using oil for seborrheic dermatitis. Although coconut oil softens the scales, it may increase the yeast/fungal causative agent, which may flare up the condition. So, do not leave the oil for a longer period. A best practice is to apply oil before washing hair. It will soften the scales, and the flakes will be removed by shampoo.
3. Wash baby's hair
Wash hair once a day. It the best way to get rid of the cradle cap. You have to find safe shampoo for your baby. Some baby shampoo may react with the lesion. It is better to use a shampoo that is prescribed by a physician. For this –
- Wet the hair and scalp.
- Gently massage scalp by shampoo.
- Wait 1-2 minutes. It will soften the flakes and remove dandruff.
- Rinse the hair and wash out all the shampoo.
Using shampoo too often may cause dryness of the skin and hair. Perform twice a week. Most of the pediatricians prescribe Mustela Foam Shampoo for newborns as it contains BHA and Salicylic Acid, which works effectively to prevent and reduce cradle cap. It is also tear-free.
4. Cream Application
In some cases, shampoo cannot reduce the flakes. In this case, the cream is used. The cream contains antifungal ingredients with hydrocortisone or zinc. It helps to get rid of the cradle cap faster. Using both shampoo and cream, combinedly, is a good idea. You do not require any prescription for using this on your baby. They are proven and made from natural ingredients, so these are safe to use.
10% of children suffer from cradle cap during infancy in America. Most of them recover within their first birthday and 7% of them within 2-3 years (source). Cradle cap may cause hair to fall. You should not worry about this. Hair will grow naturally after recovery. You should see a doctor if you see it become excessive or if the treatment mentioned above doesn't work. Share your experience in the comment section below. I will try to reply to you all.