Cradle cap is seborrheic dermatitis characterized by inflammation of the skin on the face, scalp, ears, groin and underarms. It usually affects newborn babies and infants but many adults can also suffer from it. Cradle cap is a hereditary condition that runs in families which is often aggravated due to cold weather leading to painful, itchy and red pimple outbreaks. Cradle cap is not serious, but it can be embarrassing and uncomfortable. Let us consider some natural remedies and DIY baby oil for cradle cap recipes.
1. Antibacterial soap
Wash the baby’s head and scalp with a mild antibacterial soap or shampoo. Your pediatrician can prescribe one. Liquid Dial Gold Antimicrobial Soap is known to work well. Do note that commercial soaps contain Triclosan which can be harsh on baby’s gentle skin. Use the soap diluted or best to go for essential oil remedies discussed below.
2. Apple cider vinegar
Wash baby’s scalp and face having cradle cap rash using diluted organic apple cider vinegar. You can also apply organic apple cider vinegar (undiluted) using cotton wool directly on the rash. Continue to use this remedy until the rash disappears.
3. Baby oil for cradle cap
Commercial baby oil for cradle cap always works but you can also make your own with essential oils. The following remedy is suitable for babies under 1 year. For babies below 3 months, only use 1-2 drops of Lavender oil, whereas for babies between 3-12 months, use only olive oil.
- 2 tsp Olive oil
- 1 drop each Lavender oil, Palmarosa oil and Patchouli oils
Gently massage the blend onto baby’s scalp. Leave it on overnight. Repeat application nightly. Here is another DIY baby oil recipe for cradle cap:
- 5 drops each Lavender and Rosemary oils
- 7 tbsp Jojoba oil
- 1 tbsp Evening primrose oil
Mix the oils and allow them to synergize overnight. Apply morning and evening to baby’s scalp. Wipe off crusts with soft cloth and continue using the baby oil until the rash disappears.
4. Chamomile and Calendula wash
Boil ½ cup each of chamomile and calendula flowers in 2 cups of water. Strain the liquid and use it as a post-shampoo wash on the scalp. You can also add the leftover liquid to tub bath and soak in it. This will keep the seborrheic dermatitis from worsening.
5. Breastfeeding moms-watch your diet
If you are nursing your infant who continues to display cradle cap symptoms, then you must cut the following from your diet: dairy, grains, meat, refine foods and excess citrusy juices. Also avoid food with artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, etc. Consume fish oil tablets or omega 3 essential fatty acid based foods. Take evening primrose oil or Borage oil in your diet.
6. Baking soda paste
Mix 2 tbsp of baking soda with water and use the mixture to gently scrub the scalp and face. Use a wide toothed comb to clear out the flakes. Then rinse off with warm water. Repeat as needed.
Use cooled brewed coffee to wash the baby’s scalp. It takes care of the itch and soon all the flakes of cradle cap will be coming off.
8. Antidandruff shampoo for cradle cap in adults
Adults can use antidandruff shampoo containing zinc pyrithione. ZPT shampoos clear the dry itchy scalp rash within 2-3 uses.
9. Best oils for Cradle cap
Many essential oils as well as carrier oils can be used for soothing away cradle cap symptoms. Top essential oils for cradle cap in babies and adults are: lemon oil, rosemary oil, lavender oil, peppermint oil, and thyme and tea tree oils. Carrier oils for cradle cap are Jojoba oil, coconut oil and olive oils. Sweet almond oil and Evening primrose oil also work. Avoid using tea tree oil on babies as it can be very harsh. Use only base oils or carrier oils on babies below 1 year of age.
10. Kombucha scoby
Massage Kombucha scoby on the cradle cap on scalp. Leave it on the scalp for up to 10 minutes. Kombucha is probotic and fights the bacteria and fungi.
11. Vitamin B6 salve
Vitamin B6 and magnesium deficiencies can also cause Cradle cap symptoms in adults and babies. Nursing mothers should take vitamin B complex capsules daily for at least a month as well as 250 mg of magnesium. Topical Vitamin B6 salves or creams are readily available; these can be massaged into the baby’s scalp. You can make the salve at home with following recipe:
- 1-2 capsules or tablets of Vitamin B6
- ¼ cup Olive or jojoba oil
Crush the tablets in a mortar pestle. Mix them with the oil and massage the mixture on baby’s scalp twice a day. The cradle cap will disappear in 2 days.
12. Homeopathic remedies for Cradle Cap
For wet or oozing rashes on scalp and behind the ears, use Lycopodium, Natrum Muriaticum or Sulphur. Take the remedy as prescribed by homeopathic doctor.
Use these 12 home remedies for baby cradle cap symptoms for quick relief.