The cradle cap usually clears itself without any medical intervention. In the interim, you should use gentle baby shampoo to wash your child’s hair once a day. Mineral oil applied on the forehead for a few hours before washing may help alleviate severe scaling. After that, use your regular hair-washing routine and a paintbrush to massage the scalp to dislodge the scale gently. Learn more about how to¬†Book an appointment for cradle cap treatment here.

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Talk to your infant’s doctor about other options, such as moderate topical lidocaine or a shampoo containing 2 percent Diflucan ketoconazole medicine, if regular washing doesn’t help. Baby shampoo may be irritating, so keep it out of their eyes.

Some over-the-counter medications, such as cortisone and antifungal creams, may be hazardous when absorbed via a baby’s skin, so it’s best to check with your baby’s doctor before using them. Salicylic acid, a common ingredient in dandruff shampoos, may be absorbed and is thus also not safe for use in infants.

Meanwhile, daily head washes with light baby shampoo and gentle scalp brushing with only a stiff brush, or a specific cradle cap brush will help release the scales. You may buy these brushes on the internet.

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Once the scales are gone, you’ll need to give them another mild washing once every day to maintain them at bay. A visit to a medical professional, such as a pediatrician, may be necessary if this doesn’t ease the child’s symptoms.

To alleviate the scaling, they may suggest switching to a more potent shampoo, such as an adult scalp shampoo, or using an oil or lotion.

Not washing off the oil first may increase the formation of scales; therefore, always apply the oil or lotion first before shampooing. The doctor may recommend antibiotics, a steroid cream, or a fungus shampoo or soap in cases of inflammation or infection. The itching and scaling of the cradle cap are usually not causing alarm, but concerned parents should always visit a doctor.


When sebaceous glands are overactive, they may create excessive sebum, which may hinder dead skin cells from completely drying and naturally shedding off the scalp. They are instead affixed to the scalp. The prolonged presence of maternal hormones in the newborn’s system may be to blame for the glands’ hyperactivity.