The medical name for cradle cap is infantile seborrheic dermatitis. It would be absolutely wrong to call this condition life-threatening because it is not. When it affects the baby’s scalp skin, it makes it rather dry. Eventually, it starts resembling dandruff: thick yellowish patches occur on the scalp within the very first few months after the birth. Does the condition bother the baby? Not at first. But later on, it itches when left untreated. One may call tens of options of a successful treatment. But the truth is that they don’t fit everyone. If you’re now looking for a perfect cure, try coconut oil for cradle cap. Why? The reasons are more than one. But first things first…
What Causes Make Parents Use Coconut Oil for Cradle Cap?
Every time when the condition appears, a mother asks herself where her baby got it from. Doctors usually name two main reasons:
- Overactive sebaceous glands
Cradle cap often affects the scalp skin due to the oil glands that are overactive. While growing in the mother’s uterus, the baby was surrounded by amniotic fluid. So, sebaceous glands were of great importance as their task was to waterproof the skin. After the birth, the body system still has the remnants of the maternal hormone. And this is where the cradle cap comes from.
- Fungal infection
It’s the second and more severe reason. When moms are given antibiotics prior to childbirth, the baby will have the condition. Why so? The matter is that antibiotics are known for wiping out all bad bacteria. Few people know that they do pretty much the same with the good ones. The overgrowth of the bad bacteria causes various fungal infections. And infantile seborrheic dermatitis is one of them.
After you find out the reason, you are to start the treatment process. Don’t haste to use medications, injections or whatsoever. What you really need is coconut oil for cradle cap. It is safe and cheap, not speaking of multiple benefits that appear due to its use.
Benefits of Coconut Oil for Cradle Cap
As long as the oil itself has numerous benefits, we’ll concentrate on the ones that are REALLY important for cradle cap treatment:
- It is a great moisturizer for any type of skin.
- It works for very sensitive skin, too.
- Any coconut plasma is known for resembling human plasma greatly, so no allergic reactions are possible.
- It may be used for baby massage as well.
- The antimicrobial properties of coconut oil are effective when it comes to the soothing of the inflammation.
Does Every Type of Coconut Oil for Cradle Cap Work?
No. It is better to pick organic virgin cold-pressed coconut oil. One of the reasons why is that it is deprived of any bleaching agents. Another reason is the fact it isn’t fractionated or deodorized, which means that it preserves its natural goodness and aroma.
This type of coconut oil for cradle cap is able to remove the outer skin layer of the dead cells and make the skin look and feel smoother. The virgin kind always penetrates into deeper layers and strengthens them. So, it is clear to understand why it is so often recommended for people with the skin that is prone to rashes, psoriasis, and other unhealthy conditions.
Being extremely pure, it is also extremely healing. Some parents choose it for a regular use instead of a moisturizer. When it is stored at a room temperature, it is a semi solid butter. When put on skin, it melts very fast. Please, mind where you keep it for your needs. If it’s somewhere in a warm area, it will melt in a jar. So, take care when you open it.
The recommended way of coconut oil for cradle cap application is to take it from a jar using a spoon, let it melt in hands and then massage into the hair and scalp. You may leave the solution for around 20 minutes on skin and then use your shampoo to rinse it off. In case you choose it as a moisturizer, massage it in without rinsing off.
How to Use Coconut Oil for Cradle Cap
If you have already made up your mind to treat cradle cap with coconut oil, you need to get to know the correct way of applying it as it will decrease the length of the treatment process and increase the benefits.
- STEP 1 – Choose the right oil
As we have already mentioned the correct type of coconut oil for cradle cap, we won’t repeat what has been said. We would only like to point out that if you take any other kind with blemishes, you may put your baby’s health at risk.
- STEP 2 – Massage it into the baby’s scalp
It should better be done before the bath. Take some oil and rub it on your hand. Start applying the solution in circular massaging motions. When the condition is in its serious phase that disturbs the baby a lot, coconut oil will soon soothe the baby and ensure a very fast calming effect.
! Never pour it on the area that was affected the most: the oil will get into the mouth and eyes and will lead to a great discomfort and irritation.
Put a towel under the baby’s head and leave it for about 15 minutes. What for? If there’s a towel, there are no stains. Some parents leave the oil on baby’s scalp overnight and then wash it off in the morning. You may do the same. There is no rule but a single recommendation: the oil should have enough time to soak in. Eventually, all flakes will loosen and detach from the scalp painlessly.
- STEP 3 – Removing the flakes
Take a soft toothbrush and a fine tooth comb. When you see that the flakes got softer, use the brush and start massaging the area softly. This will allow detaching the flakes that are loosened up. There’s a chance that the flakes are pretty severe and don’t want to leave the skin. In this case we suggest using a comb to detach them gently. The remnants of coconut oil for cradle cap should be rinsed off with clean warm water.
We recommend repeating the procedure every two days until the infantile seborrheic dermatitis vanishes for good. Should you pick the cradle cap off yourself? Definitely not! We know that it is really tempting but it also ends up with the sore and infected skin. The bacteria that lead to school sores (impetigo) come into action here. The skin will get redder and a few blisters will appear as well. They will burst and weep. If for some reason you didn’t use coconut oil and picked the cradle cap off, take your baby to the doctor.
How to Prevent the Reoccurrence after You Used Coconut Oil for Cradle Cap Treatment
- Shampoo baby’s scalp on a regular basis. This is the simplest and the most effective way to prevent the occurrence and re-occurrence of the condition.
- Try B-complex vitamins. They are typically overshadowed by many other necessary vitamins. However, B-complex ones will ensure the health of your baby’s hair, skin, and many body systems.
- Use shampoos for cradle cap once at a time. If your baby’s skin is prone to this condition, don’t forget to use a special shampoo. Not on a regular basis, of course. But at least once in two weeks or so. Before choosing any of the well-advertised shampoos, consult a doctor to be on the safe side.
- Popular home remedies to wash baby’s skin with are chamomile, tea, comfrey or burdock root. Are they 100% effective? Unfortunately, not. They are more secondary options than major ones but they are never out of the place.
What if Nothing Works?
In case coconut oil for cradle cap doesn’t bring the needed results (which is very rare), you need to address a pediatrician. As practice shows, most doctors suggest pretty much the same – shampoos. And the latter ones do work in most cases. When the infection stage is serious, the baby may get medications prescribed: Micatin, Lamisil, Nizarol or Lotrimin. The treatment course is not durable and brings fast results. Frankly speaking, the use of the above-mentioned medications is inevitable, when the first signs of the condition were left neglected. What’s the conclusion? Whenever the very first signs of the problem are noticed, take coconut oil for cradle cap. It’s cheap, easy-to-use, and can handle with the issue before things go too far.