“Cradle cap is usually caused by maternal hormones still circulating in the baby,” says Dr. Adnan Mir, Chair of the Society for Paediatric Dermatology. Essentially, the cradle cap is your baby’s dandruff – perfectly harmless. “So, as long as those hormones are still there, there’s not much you can do to make it better and not much you can do to make it worse.” True story—but isn’t there some teeny, tiny thing you can do?
Cradle cap, also referred to as seborrheic dermatitis, manifests as crusty scales on your baby’s scalp. It’s not painful or itchy for infants; those most bothered by the condition are usually parents. It can be unsightly, but it’s totally normal—and will eventually clear up. You just need to be patient.
“The one thing that does make it worse is treating it roughly or picking at it,” he” Dr Mir says. “When something is not bothersome to an infant and we know it’s going to go away, then we usually take a hands-off approach to it.”
In other words, try to steer clear of marketed cures or wives tales remedies; they’re unnecessary, and can sometimes be accompanied by side effects.
If, however, you’re having a hard time dealing with the less-than-cute look of your babe’s scaly bouffant, Mir says a light coating with oil overnight—coconut oil is good—and then a gentle brushing, can help remove the excess.