This guide aims to show you how to get rid of cradle cap on your baby quickly and gently. We explain why young babies are so prone to developing the condition, share our top products to prevent cradle cap and offer advice on how to keep your baby’s head soft, healthy and naturally clear.
What causes cradle cap?
Cradle cap, also known by the medical name ‘seborrhoeic dermatitis’, is very common in babies. It usually appears during the first couple of months of a baby's life and tends to clear up by itself after a few weeks or months, but in rare cases it can last much longer. Cradle cap is characterised by greasy, yellow, scaly patches on the skin of your baby's scalp and underneath their hair and mild cases can look similar to dandruff.
The reason babies get cradle cap is simply due to their skin cells growing faster than the rate they are being shed or lost. The greasy substance from sebaceous and oil glands keeps the old, dead skin cells attached to the scalp as they dry out and build up, creating a scaly crust.
Where does cradle cap appear?
Cradle cap tends to occur on areas of skin which have a lot of oil glands and is most commonly found on the scalp. You may also find cradle cap on your baby’s eyebrows, eyelids, nose and behind the ears.
Although it may sound worrying, this non-contagious condition is temporary and harmless and is not due to infection, allergy or lack of washing.
How to get rid of cradle cap quickly and gently
There are plenty of things you can try to speed up the process of removing cradle cap, here are some suggestions that we hope you find useful.
- Apply organic baby oil to the scalp. You can soften and prevent the build-up of cradle cap scales by massaging a small amount of nourishing, organic oil or salve into your baby’s scalp.
- Gently rub Organic Babies Soothing Baby Salve, made with naturally healing Lavender essential oil and calming Calendula, into your baby's scalp before bed time to soften and release flaky skin.
- Remove loose scales with a comb. In the morning, comb your baby’s hair with a fine-toothed comb to gently remove any loose scales. Do not use your fingers to pick the scales as this can lead to infection.
- Wash hair with a gentle baby shampoo. When the scales have been removed, wash your baby's hair with a mild baby shampoo. We recommend Organic Babies Scent Free Baby Wash & Shampoo which is ultra gentle and suitable for very sensitive skin.
Real-life results with our Soothing Baby Salve
- It is important to avoid using petrochemicals such as mineral oil on your baby’s delicate skin as this ingredient can block baby’s pores and prevent their skin from breathing. Mineral oil is a by-product of crude oil and is used in many high street baby products but has little to no affinity with our skin.
- Avoid shampoos, washes, soap and bubble baths which contain sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) as this will irritate your baby's sensitive scalp. SLS is a harsh foaming agent that is also used in engine degreaser and household cleaning products so we always recommend avoiding this ingredient.
If cradle cap persists or becomes infected, consult your doctor for advice. Most babies out grow cradle cap by 8-12 months old.
Best products to get rid of cradle cap
Green People's natural baby products are free from parabens, SLS, petrochemicals, artificial fragrances and lanolin. They are also recommended by midwives and have won multiple consumer chosen awards.
Another fantastic product to help soothe and soften your child’s skin is our Organic Babies Soothing Baby Salve. Containing Shea butter, Hemp, Calendula and Lavender, this natural rescue salve helps to calm away irritation and nourish your baby’s skin.
Cradle cap can appear on any baby and will eventually clear, but having gentle, effective products that can soothe your baby’s scalp is reassuring for many parents.
Have you got a question about cradle cap? Our customer care team is happy to help with your cradle cap questions. Please call us on 01403 740350.