Q&A: Which oils can I use to help treat cradle cap?

Q&A: Which oils can I use to help treat cradle cap?cradlecapQ: Can you recommend any oils that would help to treat my baby's cradle cap?

A: Cradle cap also known as seborrhoeic dermatitis, is a yellow-looking, crusty, scaly rash that appears on the scalp of newborn babies. It is rarely serious, does not arise through poor hygiene and is probably caused by mildly over-active sebaceous glands. Releasing too much oil, the dead skin cells can stick together on the scalp – not flaking off as normal. This is what causes the scales.

It is important NOT to use ANY essential oils on a new-born baby’s skin.

It is also not recommended to over-wash the scalp, as this will simply increase the over-production of sebum. Shampoo can strip the scalp of its natural oils which causes it to produce more oil to compensate! When you do wash the hair always remember to use an SLS free shampoo.

To help soften and remove the scales we'd recommend the following process – which is gentle, nourishing and effective. Using a nutritive carrier oil such as Olive OilSweet Almond Oil or Jojoba Oil, very gently massage about 2 teaspoons into your baby’s scalp, covering the affected area. Be very careful not to put any pressure on the fontanel, (the area where the cranium hasn’t yet grown across – leaving a little gap in the bone). Remember to avoid “baby oil” which is just a synthetically perfumed mineral oil, which will have no nutritional benefits for the skin.

Leave the carrier oil on overnight to soften the scales.  The following day, use a fine tooth comb to gently remove the scales that have come loose.  Do not force the comb through or pick at the scales.  After combing through, you can gently spray the scalp with a little Lavender Hydrolat – which is gentle enough for babies skin.

Joannah Metcalfe
Consultant Aromatherapist

Disclaimer: The information provided on the Base Formula blog is for personal information and interest only. It is not intended to offer professional medical advice or treatment for any condition. We recommend that you consult your GP or nurse if you have any health concerns whatsoever. Our advice has been provided on the basis that there are no known contra-indications to treatment. If you have any health problems or are taking any medication you should seek advice from your healthcare provider prior to using aromatherapy. We would also advise that you make an appointment with a local aromatherapist who will be able to take a full case history and offer you tailored treatment advice. Please note that Base Formula accepts no liability for misuse of essential oils or other products or for any reliance on the information provided within.

Please visit our website for more details on using essential oils safely and effectively.

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