Infantile seborrheic dermatitis, commonly known as cradle cap, is a form of dandruff that affects the scalp of babies. It looks like thick, greasy white or yellowish crust or flaky scales on the scalp. It may even develop on the ears, nose, eyelids and groins. Despite its unsightly appearance, cradle cap is a harmless condition.
It tends to clear naturally within six to twelve months. However, sometimes, it may last for a longer time. Hormonal changes that stimulate excess sebum secretion are believed to be responsible for this condition. In some cases, yeast overgrowth may cause cradle cap. Natural remedies are best suited for treating the condition.
6 Best Natural Cures For Cradle Cap
Applying a small amount of coconut oil to the scalp and other affected areas of the skin daily is the most effective natural remedy for cradle cap. It helps to soften the scales that can be easily removed by brushing with a soft brush. Moreover, coconut oil is a natural antifungal agent.
It contains caprylic acid that helps in suppressing abnormal growth of yeast on the skin. You can leave the oil overnight on the scalp and then use baby shampoo for rinsing the scalp the next morning. In addition to removing the loosened crusts from the scalp, shampooing the scalp prevents the excess oil from accumulating on the scalp.
The crusty patches on the scalp can also be softened with petroleum jelly. Apply petroleum jelly on the patches and leave it for a few minutes. Gently brush the scalp to loosen the scales, which can then be easily washed off with a mild shampoo.
Calendula officinalis, commonly known as calendula or pot marigold, is widely used in traditional medicines for treating dermatitis and other skin conditions.
Washing the scalp with infusion prepared by steeping 5 to 10 grams of calendula petals in 8 ounces of water for 10 to 15 minutes can help in alleviating the condition. Calendula contains flavonoids that help in reducing irritation, inflammation and infections of the skin.
In a study in Sweden, researchers found that applying borage oil to the flaky crusts on the scalp twice daily helps to clear cradle cap within two weeks.
Scientists speculate that gamma linolenic acid present in borage oil helps to correct deficiency in the enzyme system of babies that tend to trigger cradle cap. Regular application of borage oil is recommended for babies susceptible to cradle cap until they are seven months old.
Cocoa butter is a natural skin softener. When applied to the flaky crusts on the scalp it helps in softening the scales that will easily fall off when brushed. The fatty acids present in cocoa butter helps in reducing skin irritation.
Shea butter is an excellent source of vitamin A, which is essential for healthy development of the skin cells. By nourishing the scalp, shea butter helps to ameliorate the symptoms of cradle cap. Moreover, the fatty acids in shea butter help in softening and loosening the crusty patches on the scalp, which will then easily fall off from the scalp.
Caution: Please use Home Remedies after Proper Research and Guidance. You accept that you are following any advice at your own risk and will properly research or consult healthcare professional.