Last updated on Jun 21st, 2021 at 11:09 am

Cradle cap (medically known as infantile seborrheic dermatitis) causes rough, scaly patches to develop on baby’s scalp. While it usually resolves on its own, the condition can persist and require treatment. Here are three home remedies to help you get rid of cradle cap:

1. Remove the scales with your fingers

Your baby’s scalp won’t be harmed if you use your hands to take off the “cap.” It’s the simplest, and one of the most effective ways to get rid of the scales and dry patches that occur when a baby has cradle cap.

  • Rub your fingers over the scaly patches, then gently peel and scrape away the scaly dead skin and discard it.
  • If you don’t want to use your fingers to pick off the scales, put on a pair of thin latex gloves (as long as your baby isn’t allergic to latex). You could also cover your hands with plastic wrap to prevent directly touching the scales. Keep in mind that cradle cap is not contagious, and picking off the scales will make your baby more comfortable.
  • Don’t use tweezers or another sharp tool to remove the scales, since you may accidentally cause injury

2. Wash your baby’s hair every day

Use warm water and gently massage his or her scalp with your fingers. The water will help loosen the cradle cap scales, when you can then peel or scrape away.

  • Using a mild baby shampoo can help loosen the scales, so consider adding one to your washing routine. However, you may find that shampoo dries the baby’s scalp out even further.
  • Use a soft-bristled brush to help loosen the scales while the baby’s head is still wet.

3. Use oil or Vaseline

Sometimes cradle cap scales need a little outside help before you can peel them off. Spread baby oil or Vaseline on the dry patches, then wait 15 minutes to let the scales soften before removing them.
  • Olive oil and vegetable oil also work well for removing the scales.
  • Use shampoo and warm water to wash away the oil when you’re finished. Leaving traces of oil can actually make the problem worse by causing more scales to form.

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki building the world’s largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to get rid of cradle cap. Content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons License.

Subscribe to our Free Daily All4Women Newsletter to enter