Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My 2yr old has cradle cap

I think D was maybe about 5-6 months when I first noticed that he had some cradle cap on the top of his scalp.  I read up on it in a few different sources, and even tried dousing his head in olive oil and then prying the flakes loose with a comb (didn't go over too well with him... not a fan of the comb).  After I read that cradle cap will usually just go away on its own after a while, I figured I'd just let it be.  It didn't really bother me, and didn't seem to bother him, and it seemed like a PITA to try to get rid of anyway.

Well, now he's 27 months old and it's.still.there.  And I'm now kicking myself for not tasking care of it when he was a baby, b/c now he has so much more hair and isn't exactly any more cooperative.  I wouldn't worry about it much, except I think it's making his scalp itch, too.  Frustratingly, when I try to again research remedies for cradle cap I find a bunch of different suggestions, but none of them seem to have much substance behind them as far as effectiveness.  I asked D's pediatrician about it a while back and she said we could try using a dandruff shampoo.  So now I'm working on trying that consistently, washing his hair with it 2x per week or so, and seeing if that helps at all.

Unfortunately, Zach has had slight issues with dandruff since his teens, so this might also be part of the kiddo's genes.  As Zach said to me tonight as I was venting to him about this stuff, "This might just be the price of great hair." ; )

Have any of you had to deal with cradle cap, with a baby or older kid?  How did you take care of it?


  1. C didn't have it as a baby, but I noticed the flaking a few months ago and asked the pediatrician and he confirmed cradle cap. He said Head & Shoulders a few times a week, too. It was tough because it tended to get in his eyes and sting, but we figured out some techniques to avoid it and he finally let us use it regularly without too much of a fight. Anyway, it was stubborn and took at least a month of using it regularly--maybe it was going on two. Oh, and he also suggested kind of scrubbing the area with a washcloth as you wash it and then brushing it to brush out the flakes right after the bath--exfoliating, really. C was good about letting me also pick at them a bit after his bath to get them off--I told him I had to make sure all the medicine was out of his head and that sold him on what I was doing. :) Anyway, now he's all clear! Good luck!

  2. My Naturopath JUST prescribed my preschooler son a homeopathic cure for cradle cap - not because he has cradle cap, but because he sweats profusely at night and this stuff is supposed to treat that as well.

    It's called Calcarea Carbonica - you can find the little vials at any natural food store or at Whole Foods.

  3. Nicholas had cradle cap as a baby and I treated it by using olive oil, letting it sit and then combing it out. That worked pretty well.

    Periodically he still gets patches of flaky, dry skin. I limit how often I wash his hair to prevent drying his scalp out to much. I wash it no more than 2x per week. If he spreads something in it (he's especially good at putting peanut butter in his hair), I try to get it out with a damp, soapy cloth in order to avoid washing if I can. I also use conditioner on his hair. It seems to keep it in check, but is best to use as a prevention. Doesn't work as well when his head is already very flaky. Takes a lot longer to fix then.

  4. My son had the same issue with cradle cap at 23 months. Like Rebecca, my pedi recommended Head & Shoulders every other day and combing the area with the shampoo in his hair and again once he is out of the bath. It took about 2 weeks to go away.

  5. Cradle cap is a form of eczema. My 15 month old has had eczema (on his body) since birth - so he got a really bad case of cradle cap, and even soaking his head with oil didn't work. I ended up using mustela's stelaker cradle cap cream/wash. I don't know if it was the cream or that he was overcoming it by himself, but when a couple weeks his head was smooth again.

  6. My daughter had a mild case around six or nine months and I used the Head and Shoulders Sensitive two-in-one twice a week (at the advice of her pede) and it took care of it. No trying to pry it off her scalp with a comb or anything like that. I just made sure not to get it in her eyes.

  7. We tried Olive Oil but it didn't work. Our pedi suggested that we load on the baby shampoo (we use the regular J&J variety) at the beginning of bathtime and let it sit on there through the bath. We did that a couple of times and it went away for the most part. I actually put a glob on and then wash Sara up and then throughout the bath I just sort of rub her head with my fingernails gently...she likes it and it works! Good luck!



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