Cradle cap is a skin rash commonly found on the scalps of infants typically during the first three months of their life. Otherwise known as seborrheic dermatitis, cradle cap shows up as as yellowish, greasy patches on the heads of about half of all babies born. While cradle cap isn't painful or itchy, the patches can be unsightly, hard to remove, and can even show up around the eyelids, eyebrows, or ears. Though there is no clear explanation for what causes cradle cap, there are several things that can be done to avoid it. Here are five things you can do to prevent cradle cap:
- Brush or comb your baby's head every day: Make sure to use something with soft bristles on it, and gently comb or brush your infant's head every day to stimulate circulation.
- Apply olive oil on the head: Prior to brushing or combing your baby's head, apply a dime-sized quantity of olive oil on the head, and let it soak into the skin and dry. This will provide extra moisture and a layer of protection while brushing.
- Shampoo your baby's head several times a week: Use a sensitive skin shampoo made for newborns to wash and massage your baby's head at least three times a week. However, be careful not to overwash because that will strip the scalp of moisture and cause dryness.
- Moisturize the head after bath time: After bath time, make sure to apply a sensitive skin moisturizer to the baby's head. If the scalp is too dry, it will produce extra oil and increase the likelihood of cradle cap.
- Exfoliate the head: Use a wet cotton towel or baby cloth to gently rub down the baby's head, which will stimulate circulation and flake off any potential scales.