Cradle cap (infant seborrheic dermatitis) is scaly patches on a baby’s scalp. While it isn’t serious, it can cause thick crusting and white or yellow scales. 1 in 3 children will get some degree of flaking, redness, scaling, and irritation on their scalp and skin during their first year of life. Some babies can also have seborrheic dermatitis in the diaper area. It can also appear on the face (especially the eyebrows), neck, and trunk.
Cradle cap usually clears up within the first year. After much research, I have created a list of the best cradle cap shampoos to try this year. All of the products featured in this article are the best selling and most recommended cradle cap shampoos on the market, today.
|Product||Why It Is Best||Mom Rating|
|Bella B Bee Gone Cradle Cap Baby Shampoo||Most Recommended by Parents||♥♥♥♥♥|
|Mustela Foam Shampoo for Newborns||Most Recommended by Pediatricians||♥♥♥♥♥|
|Babo Botanicals Moisturizing Baby Shampoo||Organic; Vegan||♥♥♥♥♥|
|Puracy Natural Baby Shampoo||Plant Based; Satisfaction Guarantee||♥♥♥♥♥|
|Dr. Eddie’s Happy Cappy Medicated Shampoo||Mediacted||♥♥♥♥♥|
|Elizabeth Parker Naturals Baby Shampoo||Tear Free; Satisfaction Guarantee||♥♥♥♥♥|
Bella B Bee Gone Cradle Cap Baby ShampooBella B Bee Gone Cradle Cap Shampoo is the best selling and most parent-recommended product to soothe baby’s itchy, flaky scalp. Made with oatmeal, vitamin E, organic shea butter and aloe vera, this shampoo is gentle enough for daily use. Parents rave about this shampoo for its cradle cap soothing abilities. They are impressed with its gentleness, light scent, and sudsy lather. Many boasted that, with regular use, their baby was able to maintain a very soft and healthy scalp.
Mustela Foam Shampoo for Newborns
Pediatrician recommended Mustela Foam Shampoo for Newborns is specially formulated to cleanse your baby’s hair and scalp while preventing and treating cradle cap. The tear-free formula – composed of 99% plant-based ingredients, helps protect your newborns’ scalp and prevents cradle cap from recurring. The light, airy foam is hypoallergenic and specially formulated to minimize the risk of allergic reactions.
Babo Botanicals Moisturizing Baby ShampooBabo Botanicals Moisturizing Baby Shampoo helps prevent cradle cap and nourishes dry, sensitive skin. This certified organic and vegan shampoo has been pediatrician, dermatologist, and allergy tested. Parents praise this shampoo for its great smell, potency, and safety. Although it may seem a bit pricey at first glance, it is very concentrated. A little goes a long way.
Puracy Natural Baby Shampoo
Created by doctors, Puracy Natural Baby Shampoo was specially developed for the most sensitive skin, including those with eczema and cradle cap. All of the ingredients are plant-based, non-toxic, hypoallergenic, free of harsh chemicals, and child and pet safe. For every purchase, a donation is made to local children and families that are less fortunate. This product is proudly made in the USA. The artwork on every bottle helps support local artists. If you aren’t completely satisfied with your purchase, a 100% satisfaction guarantee is offered.
Parents can’t seem to get enough of this shampoo. They love its mild citrus scent, large quantity, and how quickly it heals cradle cap.
Dr. Eddie’s Happy Cappy Medicated ShampooDr. Eddie’s Happy Cappy Medicated Shampoo is a pediatrician’s solution to fight flaking, itching, redness, scaling, and irritation on the scalp and skin. This is the first OTC (Over the Counter) shampoo and body wash made specifically for children of all ages. With an FDA approved active ingredient, pyrithione zinc, it has been proven safe and effective for many decades for the relief of dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis (cradle cap). Parents praise this shampoo for how wonderfully it works on the most severe cases of cradle cap.
Elizabeth Parker Naturals Baby Shampoo
Elizabeth Parker Naturals Baby Shampoo is designed in every way to soothe, repair, and replenish baby’s sensitive scalp in order to finally get rid of uncomfortable scalp conditions once and for all. This baby shampoo is tear free, and made with gentle, natural, and non-allergenic ingredients. Parents are highly impressed with the gentleness and effectiveness of this shampoo. Most are pleased with how quickly it clears up the symptoms of cradle cap. A money-back guarantee is offered – no questions asked – if you aren’t completely satisfied with your purchase.
Guide to Selecting a Cradle Cap Shampoo
Healthychildren.org, powered by the American Academy of Pediatrics, reminds us that seborrheic dermatitis (cradle cap) is not a serious condition or an infection. It isn’t an allergy to something you’re using, or due to poor hygiene. Cradle cap will go away without any scars. It’s completely harmless, not contagious, and usually disappears by your baby’s first birthday.
How to Use Cradle Cap Shampoo
- To help reduce the chances of your baby developing cradle cap, wash your baby’s hair and scalp with a gentle shampoo two or three times a week.
- For an added bit of prevention and treatment, brush your baby’s scalp with a soft brush or massage with a washcloth while he’s in the bath. Any baby hair brush will do a great job at gently removing the scaly skin, however most parents recommend the Safety 1st Cradle Cap Brush and Comb. Massage your baby’s scalp with the brush, but be sure not to pick at the scales because this can cause irritation.
- In more severe cases of cradle cap, it may be necessary to wash and brush your baby’s scalp daily to loosen scaly skin.
Things to Keep in Mind
- Don’t be afraid to shampoo the hair. In fact, you should wash it (with a mild baby shampoo) more frequently than before. This, along with soft brushing, will help remove the scales. Stronger medicated shampoos may loosen the scales more quickly, but since they also can be irritating, use them only after consulting with your pediatrician.
- Some parents have found using petroleum jelly or ointments to be beneficial. However, baby oil is not very helpful or necessary. In fact, many parents tend to use unperfumed baby oil or mineral oil and do nothing else. Doing so allows scales to build up on the scalp, particularly over the soft spot on the back of the head, or fontanelle.
- Your doctor may also prescribe a cortisone cream or lotion. In most cases, once the condition has improved, you can prevent it from recurring. To do this, simply continue with frequent hair washings and use a mild baby shampoo.
FAQ’s about Cradle Cap Shampoos
What causes cradle cap?
- According to Kids Health, the exact cause of cradle cap is unknown. Although, some researchers believe it’s due to an overproduction of skin oil (sebum) in the oil glands and hair follicles. A type of yeast (fungus) called malassezia can grow in the sebum along with bacteria, and this may be another factor in the development of cradle cap.
- Seborrhea happens most often in babies and teenagers. In both of these times in a person’s life, hormone levels are high, which also might play a role in the condition.
- Certain factors — like weather extremes, oily skin, problems with the immune system, stress, and other skin disorders — can make it more likely that a child will get cradle cap.
Are there any home remedies for cradle cap?
- Yes. Many parents find that coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil work well for treating cradle cap. Simply rub a small amount on your baby’s scalp. Allow it to sit for a few minutes, then massage with a cradle cap brush. After rinsing, wash with a gentle baby shampoo. Do not let the oil sit on your child’s scalp overnight. This can cause the oil glands to become clogged, thus worsening the condition.
- Remember that your baby’s skin is still incredibly sensitive, and it is important to avoid using harsh or potentially toxic chemicals. It’s never a good idea to apply undiluted apple cider vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, or essential oils for cradle cap. While these are often touted as home remedies for cradle cap (and a host of other conditions), they are too strong for your baby’s skin and can cause further irritation.
What should I do if the cradle cap is severe and doesn’t clear up with the techniques listed above?
- At home treatment is effective for most cases of cradle cap. If the problem doesn’t get better, you may ask your healthcare provider to prescribe an appropriate shampoo or cream. If the problem still does not get better with the prescribed medicine, talk to your healthcare provider.
What is the difference between cradle cap and eczema?
- Cradle cap happens when the glands of the scalp make too much sebum (oil). This traps the skin flakes that are constantly being shed from the scalp, and causes the formation of the yellow scales. It usually does not itch or cause the baby any discomfort. Cradle cap is sometimes confused with eczema. A major difference between these two skin conditions is that eczema is caused by an allergy and usually causes significant itching.
Although it may appear unsightly, infant seborrheic dermatitis isn’t something you should lose sleep over. Cradle cap may disappear for months at a time and then suddenly reappear. By following the steps above, you should be able to control it. To read more of our infant skincare product reviews, see The Best Baby Lotion for Dry and Sensitive Skin and The 8 Best Baby Hair Gels to Try this Year.