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How do I treat my baby's cradle cap?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Shampooing is the foundation of treatment. Before shampooing the baby’s hair, gently rub baby oil, petroleum jelly or mineral oil on the scalp. The oil will help to loosen the scales. Let the oil remain on the baby’s scalp for 30-60 minutes, being sure to keep it out of the baby’s eyes and mouth. Then wet the baby’s head and gently scrub the scalp with a soft bristled brush to remove the scales. If the baby has a lot of hair, a fine tooth comb is useful to remove the scales. Next wash the scalp with baby shampoo or a gentle cleanser. Rinse well and towel dry.

A baby shampoo and a mild 1 percent hydro-cortisone cream can help treat cradle cap, but use it sparingly. Or try putting warm baby oil or mineral oil on the area to loosen the thick, sticky scales. Leave on for twelve hours, then use a fingernail or brush to remove the scales. To prevent cradle cap, keep your baby clean and dry, especially in the folds of his chubby neck, arms, and legs. Also, try raking your baby's head with a plastic comb two or three times a day for the first couple of weeks after birth to stimulate his sebaceous glands.
YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

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YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

There’s little doubt that parenting can be one of the most rewarding and satisfying experiences you’ll ever have. But it can be plenty tough, too: Around the clock, you’re working to keep your...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.