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  • Post last modified:August 27, 2022
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What if a baby has both cradle cap and eczema at the same time? How can I treat my baby?

cradle cap and eczema in babies

Mom’s Question:

Is it common with cradle cap AND eczema in babies? I mean to have both?

And how can I the cure cradle cap and eczema completely in my 4-month-old baby?

I am using baby oil for her hair and combing it. It takes away some of the cradle cap, but not all of it. I’ve also tried using a toothbrush.

I also found some liquid on her head. Is this common? I am using hydrocortisone cream for eczema. Now it seems to be under control. How do I prevent it from coming again?


Treatments For Cradle Cap And Eczema In Babies

You are asking about both cradle cap and eczema in babies, two completely different conditions with different causes and treatments. So I try to answer both.

For a start, both these conditions are common!

Cradle cap affects some 10% of all  babies. After 3 months, the occurrence slowly falls. (Source)

Eczema is also common. Some 10-15% of all children have or have had eczema. (Source)

So your baby is not alone!

How to Get Rid of Cradle Cap

Since cradle cap is likely due to immature enzyme production in newborn babies, you can’t really clear it up once and for all until the baby is old enough. But you can use Borago oil to treat it. Very efficient! Learn more about treating cradle cap here.

Remember that cradle cap is extremely common in babies. Even if you don’t want to let it spread out of control, you might want to accept it to some extent. Trying to get rid of the cradle cap 100% is likely to fail and to cause irritation in your baby’s skin,  especially if it means that you will comb and brush excessively.

Treating Eczema in Babies

Eczema is a whole other business. Actually, science doesn’t really know why it occurs! Babies often get eczema because their skin is too dry. It can also be due to food allergies or being sensitive to detergents, for example.

The ways to prevent and treat eczema are similar. In addition to ointments for treatments (like you already do), here are some steps to take to prevent and mitigate eczema in babies:

Try to avoid soap as much as you can for your baby, since it really makes the skin dry.

Hot baths should also be avoided, as well as excessive sweating.

It is also good if you dress your baby, including any hats, in a material that breathes, such as cotton.

Use a good baby lotion if you have to. And watch for signs of allergies.

You can find several more suggestions on how to mitigate a baby’s dry eczema here.

I am not sure, from what you write if you are sure that your baby has eczema or not. It might be a good idea to show your baby’s scalp to a health nurse for accurate assessment and advice. You can also read more about eczema in children here.  


Good luck!

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  1. Grandma

    My granddaughter has cradle cap and someone suggested that after changing a wet diaper that I rub the top of her head with the wet diaper allow her head to dry and then wash her hair in a hypoallergenic shampoo and rub it with a regular adult wash cloth. I tried it and it worked the cradle cap came right off.

    She also has eczema. We use Aquaphor and hydrocortisone cream to keep it under control. Her doctor told us not to put any type of lotion on her because regular lotions contain alcohol which dries the skin out even more and will cause the eczema to burn when applied.

    She recommended using ointments or just plain old vaseline instead of lotions because the Aquaphor and vaseline do not contain alcohol.

    She also suggested bathing every other day because water dries the skin. We rub her down in Aquaphor twice daily and the difference in her skin is amazing. She no longer screams and cries as she did when we were putting lotion on her.

    After switching to the Aquaphor her eczema has gotten much better and we only have to use the hydrocortisone cream sporadically when she gets small red patches. We also switched laundry detergents, we are now using Tide free and Bounce dryer sheets that contain no dyes or perfumes this has helped clear up eczema tremendously.

  2. Mia

    This worked for both my children. I always kept a baby brush at the tub. Every time I bathed them I brushed their head with the brush and some baby shampoo for about three minutes.

    I started the brushing at first bath and continued the brushing till about 4 months old.

    They both got cradle cap once around 1 1/2 month but only lasted about two days and never returned. And it wasn’t even so much that anyone else noticed. Just a little dryness on the head that showed up if you rubbed your fingernail lightly over their scalp but other than that you couldn’t really tell. It wasn’t a buildup like I have seen on some baby’s heads.

    So keep those brushes handy and brush in circular motions for three minutes EVERY time you bathe them and a little more if you notice a build up.