Treating cradle cap

How to treat cradle cap in babies

What cradle cap looks like

Cradle cap is nothing to panic about, but it isn’t pleasant and as parents we just want it to go away.

It drove me crazy trying to get rid of my daughter’s cradle cap. At its worst it covered her head with big, chunky yellow flakes. The cradle cap extended down her forehead to near her eyebrows.

It looked awful, although it rarely seemed to bother her apart from when she scratched it in the night.

The cradle cap set in when my baby was just a week old. It quickly escalated and it looked horrendous.

I was in absolute bits about it at some points. Just when I thought i was starting to get rid of the stuff, the next morning her head would be covered again.

It never got infected, thank goodness, but it’s awful seeing something so grim-looking on your gorgeous little baby’s head.

Also my baby lost all of the beautiful hair she was born with on top of her head and it has taken a long time to grow back, but at 10 months it is on its way.

I managed to get rid of my baby’s cradle cap after a lot of trial and error! Here’s a bit more information and what I did.

What is cradle cap?

Cradle cap is the greasy, yellow scaly patches that sometimes appear on the scalps of young babies.

The thick plaques or crusts appear on the scalp, but sometimes on the ears, eyelids, eyebrows, nose, neck, groin, or armpits).

It appears as greasy or oily patches of skin, often covered with white or yellow.

It is common, harmless and doesn’t usually itch or cause discomfort.

What causes it?

No one knows. Many babies get it, but there are no answers as to what causes it. It generally always goes away by the time baby is six months old.

Cradle cap is not contagious and is not caused by poor hygiene or an allergy.

Things I tried

Olive oil

Although many websites and forums still recommend this as a magical cure, in fact olive oil use can be bad for the scalp.

I tried it before I discovered this, and it didn’t work anyway. Apparently olive oil can damage the natural barrier and increases the risk of eczema.

Coconut oil

This is praised for its magical effects on eczema, which my baby also suffered with. Although it is a lovely moisturiser, and I have used it as a treatment on my own scalp and hair, it didn’t shift the cradle cap.

Epaderm ointment

This stuff is seriously greasy. It made no difference but is lovely for bathing eczema babies.

Epaderm cream

Nice and rich, but didn’t help.

Diprobase lotion

This is a lighter moisturiser and it did help a little bit. However it didn’t make enough of an impact, it did help keep the scalps bit less crusty.

Oilatum shampoo

I found this actually seemed to make the cradle cap a little worse so I stopped using it immediately.

Dentinox shampoo

This stuff worked absolute wonders within a week. I was so thrilled with the results. I saw an improvement within a couple of days.

Frequency

You need to be moisturising multiple times a day. Every time you change your baby’s nappy, put a little of what you’re using on your baby’s scalp.

In terms of washing the scalp, I tried doing it every day with cotton wool but this made new difference until I used the Dentinox.

Once I started with the shampoo, the flakes would lift off easily if I rubbed wet cotton wool over them.

Bathing and care

I bought a cradle cap brush from John Lewis. It was cheap but to be honest it didn’t help a great deal.

It removed or loosened some of the flakes but not in any significant amount and the flakes were always back by the morning.

I would put the oil or whatever cream I was attempting to treat her with. Then I would leave it on for at least an hour, or sometimes overnight. Then I would rub it in circles all over the flakes.

Her flakes were so crusty and stubborn the brush was totally ineffective.

Do not pick at the scales as this can cause an infection.

Keeping baby comfortable

My poor baby was obviously suffering so badly with the itches. She would scratch her scalp so hard she drew blood. I tried to keep her nails as short as possible but it made little difference.

In the end I had to use scratch mits and a hat.

Now, the hat never stayed on after a night of fidgeting and pulling at it with her hands. I also found many scratch mits dropped off way too easily. To only ones I found that were nice and tight were some Peter Rabbit ones from Mothercare.

Keeping the head moisturised will help with comfort too.

Although wearing a hat overnight can help stop the scratching, it’s a good idea to leave the skin open to the air whenever possible as it can help it heal.

I hope these tips help. Please ask me any questions, I would love to help if I can.

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How to treat stubborn cradle cap in babies | parenting | newborn

 

Treating cradle cap in babies

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