Self-management

Lifestyle and home remedies

The following over-the-counter treatments and home-care tips can help you control and manage cradle cap.

  • Gently rub your baby's scalp with your fingers or a washcloth to loosen the scales. Don't scratch.
  • Wash your baby's hair once a day with mild baby shampoo. Loosen the scales with a small, soft-bristled brush before rinsing off the shampoo.
  • If the scales don't loosen easily, rub petroleum jelly or a few drops of mineral oil onto your baby's scalp. Let it soak into the scales for a few minutes, or hours if needed. Then brush and shampoo your baby's hair as usual. If you leave the oil in your baby's hair, the cradle cap may get worse.
  • Once the scales are gone, wash your baby's hair every few days with a mild shampoo to prevent scale buildup.

Prevention

Shampooing your baby's hair every few days can help prevent cradle cap. Stick with a mild baby shampoo unless your baby's doctor recommends something stronger.

Nov. 12, 2015
References
  1. AskMayoExpert. Seborrheic dermatitis. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
  2. Sasseville D. Cradle cap and seborrheic dermatitis in infants. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 15, 2015.
  3. Barbara Woodward Lips Patient Education Center. Caring for Your Newborn. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.