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How to Prevent Cradle Cap: What Do You Need to Know?

How to prevent cradle cap in babies naturally

If you notice dry, flaky skin on your baby’s head or eyebrows, they may have cradle cap or seborrheic dermatitis. This skin condition is super common in infants and young children. 

Luckily, treating it isn’t painful, contagious, or challenging, though knowing the dos and don’ts of treating cradle caps is essential. But, you can use some cradle cap prevention techniques to help stop your baby from experiencing this condition.

How to prevent cradle cap in babies?

Even though this condition isn’t painful for your baby, it’s understandable that you’d want to prevent it. Here are a few cradle cap prevention tips and tricks you can use at home.

1. Wash the scalp regularly

  • One way to prevent cradle cap is to keep your baby’s scalp clean and moisturized. 
  • Wash the scalp and hair daily with a soothing daily shampoo like Happy Cappy’s Daily Baby Shampoo to improve scalp flaking (to help fight against future outbreaks, look for a medicated shampoo). 
  • Ensure you also thoroughly rinse after washing to avoid leaving any residue on your baby’s head.

2. Avoid picking at the scalp

If you do notice any dry skin or flakes on your baby, don’t pick at them. This can irritate the skin further and increase the likelihood of more cradle caps.

Instead, gently use cradle cap brushes and moisturizing shampoo to wipe away the loose flakes. Ideally, though, leave the cradle cap alone – do not pick it to avoid any infection.

3. Gently massage your baby’s scalp

Another cradle cap prevention tip is to massage your baby’s head lightly with shampoo. This can help break up any scaly patches without causing further damage to the skin barrier.

How to prevent cradle cap with natural methods?

Understandably, many parents are wary of harsh chemicals to treat and prevent cradle cap, so they look for how to prevent it “naturally”. Natural methods are all well and good, however, it is essential to know which are beneficial. 

  • Breast milk is a great go-to natural remedy if available to you. 
  • Coconut oil could potentially help in reducing cradle cap flakes
  • Olive oil and essential oils are remedies that are not necessarily helpful.
  • You can also put a humidifier in your baby’s room; supposedly this can help them retain more moisture, though it’s not a proven remedy.

If you want to avoid thick or greasy oils, which can leave residue and leave your baby feeling sticky or greasy after bedtime, using a mild shampoo that will not be too harsh on your baby’s sensitive skin will be better.

Help your skin be healthy!

At the end of the day, you want your baby’s skin to be as happy and healthy as possible. But sometimes, our search for only natural products or methods can lead us down the wrong path regarding cradle cap. Some natural methods can be better avoided.

Some products, like olive or coconut oil, can increase the residue left on your baby’s skin and feed yeasts that lead to cradle cap. Some say to try testing out small amounts of these kinds of natural products, however, your doctor may not even recommend this. The real solution is to find specially designed seborrheic dermatitis products with the right ingredients to eliminate and prevent flakes.

Though natural remedies may be tempting, your best bet is to use a soothing cradle cap shampoo to prevent cradle caps in your baby and help their skin be as healthy as possible!

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Dr. Eddie Valenzuela is an award winning pediatrician and the founder and CEO of Pediatric Solutions, LLC.

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