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Cradle Cap

Posted by Karen Faulkner on
cradle cap, eczema, baby, baby skin, scales on head, baby eczema,
I've seen a fair bit of cradle cap recently and thought I needed to share a few tips to help your bubs out there.

Cradle cap is a totally natural skin condition also known as seborrhoeic dermatitis and occurs in most babies from 3-6 months of age.

It's basically a build up of skin cells and natural body oils on the scalp, forehead and eyebrows of some babies.

It looks unsightly and can be a bit 'whiffy'. It usually has the appearance of yellow crusty scales.

cradle cap

Sometimes it can be confused with eczema so check with your Child & Family Health Nurse or GP if unsure.

So what do you need to do to remove it?

Cradle cap will disappear by itself if left untreated but a lot of mums/parents choose to remove it because it looks unsightly.

There's a few ways of removing it but it's REALLY IMPORTANT THAT YOU SOFTEN IT FIRST for about a week before removal. The reason being that if you don't soften it first and try and pick it off or comb it off it leaves a sore area on baby's head that could get infected as its basically a raw wound.

It needs to be softened with an oil or ointment every night for a week.

Choose olive oil or baby oil. Mustela do a lovely cradle cap treatment as well. Urban Botanicals on King Street, Newtown (near the train station) do a nice cradle cap oil with jojoba.

Massage really well into the scalp and LEAVE. Do not wash out. It has to soak in overnight. I know the hair will look greasy and the cot sheets might get stained so maybe use old sheets or put a large bath towel over the top that can be tucked under the mattress.

Wash the head/hair the next day with baby shampoo.

If it is still there after one week, use a cradle cap shampoo. If it doesn't shift it then repeat the process for a second week.

Once it's well soaked you can also remove with a stiff hairbrush or comb.

I have also heard of sunlight soap doing a good job of removing it! Has anyone out there tried this method?


Products containing salicylic acid can help but be careful because if it is mistaken for eczema the salicylic acid will make eczema worsen.

This little bubba I met at my GP job has cradle cap but its inflamed and needs treating with a mild steroid like Dermaid 1%.

Let me know if there's any other methods out there that you've tried and found helpful.

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