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What you can anticipate from the top shampoos for cradle cap

Proud parent of a teeny-tiny troublemaker that you love to bits and would save from anything? Even the smallest of things?

Chances are then you already know what a pain cradle cap can be.

We are not going to lie, it is kind of heartbreaking to watch your baby try to itch that crusty yellow, flakey mess off with their mini hands. Not to mention, alarming. A single crust is enough to make you want to rush to your paediatrician!

But let us fast forward this, shall we?

You are back from the doc’s and they have prescribed so and so shampoo to cure your baby of cradle cap. They told you it is going to work. Almost like a miracle. Fixing baby dandruff. Or seborrheic dermatitis. Or a cradle cap. Call it what you will.

But what effects can you anticipate from this shampoo you just got off the counter from your local drugstore?

And most importantly, what shampoo is good for a cradle cap? Is it the one you bought or another shampoo altogether? You know that we are here to answer that very question along with a couple of other ones you may have. So here we go!

What is a cradle cap?

As said before, cradle cap that crusty yellow mess on your baby’s scalp. It is kind of flakey. Like dandruff. Just tougher. Possibly caused due to the overactive sebaceous glands of your baby, which makes their scalp (and probably skin too) oily.

But do not worry. Cradle cap is not an infection by a long shot. Nor is it the result of poor hygiene or an allergy. It is just their oil glands working overtime.

That said, a cradle cap can also be found on your baby’s diaper area or skin folds. If you look closely, you might see this developing in the first few weeks since your toddler’s birth. The good news? It generally resolves within a few months. With the help of a cradle cap shampoo, of course.

What triggers or causes cradle cap? 

You might be a little bummed to know that the exact cause of cradle cap in babies is not known. Yep, we feel you. Knowing the cause almost always helps.

Anyway, experts say there are plenty of theories as to what causes it but it is hard to pinpoint an exact one.

Nonetheless there seems to be some consensus on the fact that a mother’s hormones during pregnancy can affect her infant’s oil glands, causing them to go into overdrive. Yeast on a baby’s skin and the natural oils of their body can also possibly play a role in the development of cradle cap. So do not beat yourself up, mama.

What is the best way to cure a cradle cap?

Wash it off with a good shampoo. Period. We know you are reluctant. After all, washing your baby’s delicate scalp can be a tad scary because of how delicate babies are. But it truly is the best way to get rid of the cradle cap. As long as you use a mild shampoo specifically, and we mean specifically, formulated for cradle cap. For severe cases though, a cortisone lotion may be prescribed.

How to use a cradle cap shampoo on your baby?

The best way to use a cradle cap shampoo on your baby is to gently massage their wet scalp. Yep, it really is as easy as that.

While you can use your fingers to do so, a gentle comb or brush may help in loosening tough scales. Cradle cap is kind of sticky so best to get that brush out.

Applying mineral or baby oil on your infant’s scalp before shampooing can also help.

How often should you shampoo your baby if they have a cradle cap?

Every second or third day works just fine.

How to choose the best shampoo for a cradle cap?

The sheer variety of baby shampoos can be so overwhelming, right? No wonder choosing the best shampoo for cradle cap in infants feels like such a herculean task to you right now. Perhaps these can help:

  • Choose a mild and gentle shampoo specifically formulated for infants
  • Make sure it is fragrance-free
  • Check the bottle for ingredients that your baby is allergic to
  • Opt for dermatologically tested shampoos only
  • Pick a shampoo that has ingredients that fix nasty old cradle cap

What shampoo to use for a cradle cap? A list of leading brands and what to expect from them

So we did our research. We scouted the market, checked the reviews, asked experts and finally shortlisted a few shampoos. Dare we say, these are widely recommended and pretty well reviewed so you know what you are diving into with them. Check it out:

  1. Mustela Foam Shampoo For Newborns Cradle Cap
  2. What works: Its gentle and effective formula

    What does not: Expensive for the quantity in the bottle

    This shampoo has gotten a lot of love from the parent community and we are here for it! Widely tried and tested, too, so you can expect it to be effective. Anyway, it is super gentle on your baby’s delicate skin. Mostly because 99% of it is just plant-based ingredients. Plus, it acts really quickly so that is another win-win.

    The only downside? The bottle is kind of small for the price you pay so it is not the most pocket-friendly option in the market.

  3. Aquaphor Baby Wash and Shampoo
  4. What works: Recommended by experts due to its soothing formula

    What does not: Chamomile extracts can irritate your baby’s skin

    Chances are your dermatologist/paediatrician recommended you use Aquaphor on your baby. And we are not surprised. They have good reasons to recommend it! This wash is a doctor’s favourite!

    Simple and gentle, this shampoo works like a charm without drying out your baby’s delicate skin. It is also fragrance-free and comes with a tear-free formula, which makes it so baby-friendly we are compelled to recommend it too.

  5. Cetaphil Baby Wash and Shampoo
  6. What works: The mild formula is perfect for sensitive skin

    What does not: It has fragrance added to it

    Approved by dermatologists, Cetaphil’s cradle cap shampoo comes with a no-tear formula and is gentle on your baby to boot. It is free of any of those nasty chemicals like parabens and phthalates and all those other chemical names no one on this planet can correctly pronounce.

    Anyhoo, it generally works well even on the most sensitive of skins due to its hypoallergenic nature. Plus, it has organic calendula extracts, which is great for keeping your baby’s skin moisturised because God knows, dandruff shampoos can be drying. The only con that we found is that it is fragranced. Not big fans of that.

  7. Dr. Eddie’s Happy Cappy Medicated Shampoo & Body Wash
  8. What works: Shows results quickly even in the nastiest of cases

    What does not: Could irritate your baby’s skin

    From flaking to scaling and itching, this shampoo can fight it all. And quickly too! Sounds like a miracle, right? Well, that is because it contains pyrithione zinc though, which is the key ingredient you find in adult dandruff shampoos, so that could potentially irritate your baby’s skin. So be wary. Cautioned you have been.

    Other than that, it doubles up as a body wash and is cruelty-free as well as free of nasty chemicals. Sorry, we keep saying nasty but chemicals really are nasty. However, talk to your paediatrician before using this one on your baby.

  9. Cerave Baby Wash and Shampoo
  10. What works: It is one of the best shampoos for eczema

    What does not: It may be slow to show results

    Cerave’s formulation is soap-free, which makes it a really effective and gentle cleanser for your baby. And we love that! We are for it.

    It is also certified safe to treat cases of eczema in your teeny-tiny bundle of joy so you need to worry about using it. This shampoo and wash also packs in some really nice ingredients. Think vitamin E, ceramides and hyaluronic acid, all of which help to keep your tot’s skin moisturised sans any irritation. Just be patient with this shampoo.

  11. Tubby Todd Hair + Body Wash
  12. What works: Can gently resolve other skin issues too along with cradle cap

    What does not: It is quite expensive

    This shampoo is hypoallergenic, which means it does not cause any irritation, making it a winner for us.  If you do not believe us, it has been dermatologically tested and proven not to do so. Check the label and you will see.

    It is quite effective too and you get a bunch of fragranced options if you want. Do not worry, there is a fragrance-free version too. Anyway, it is made of plant-based ingredients and is highly moisturising and skin-softening, which gives it a definitive edge over other competing shampoos in our humble opinion.

We hope this answers your question of ‘what shampoo to use for a cradle cap’. The one you end up with will depend on what your doctor recommends and what actually suits your baby. So be sure to consult your paediatrician before trying out any of these cradle cap shampoos. That said, for more such informative blogs, be sure to visit EuroKids regularly.

Please note the information provided on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice. EuroKids encourages you to consult with a qualified healthcare professional for any health concerns your child may have. The information on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any diseases.

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