Dandruff in Babies: Causes, Symptoms and Home Remedies


Infants have an extremely delicate skin which makes it very easy for their skin to become dry and irritated. Baby dandruff is when dry, flaky skin that develops on an infant’s head. Although, there is nothing to worry about because it usually goes away within a week or so. In this article, we will be looking at the causes, symptoms as well as home remedies to treat baby dandruff.

baby dandruff


In this article:

What is Baby Dandruff?
Symptoms of Baby Dandruff
Causes of Baby Dandruff
Home Remedies to Treat Baby Dandruff

A Guide for Dandruff in Babies

What is Baby Dandruff?

Also called seborrheic dermatitis, it can be considered as the same thing that most adults develop. However, the only difference between the two is that dandruff may further lead to a condition called cradle cap in babies. It is a severe form of baby dandruff that can result in crusty patches of yellow or red irritated skin. However,it is not contagious and usually goes away in a week or two.

Read More:Infantile Seborrheic Dermatitis in Children: Everything a New Mom Should Know

Symptoms of Baby Dandruff

Some of the most common symptoms of dandruff are listed below:

  • Flary, dry skin on the baby’s scalp
  • Red, yellow or pink collaboration on and around the baby’s head
  • Dry patches that may be oily, crusty, scaly or rough to the touch.

Baby dandruff is pretty common in children under one year of age. Poor hygiene habits are not really the cause behind it.

Also, one of the most commonly asked questions is how to tell if the baby has dandruff or some other skin conditions like eczema. Basically, other skin conditions are not likely to appear on the baby’s head but on the other parts of the body like arms, legs and torso, whereas, baby dandruff will be found only on your little one’s scalp. In addition to this, baby dandruff will not cause any discomfort to the baby like most other skin conditions do.

Read More:7 Best Hair Brushes for your Baby’s Smooth Hair

Causes of Baby Dandruff

Dry skin is the reason behind baby dandruff. But do you know what causes the dry skin? We have listed below a number of factors that can lead to dry skin and baby dandruff. They are:

  • Using a harsh shampoo
  • Extreme weather
  • Sunburn on the baby’s scalp
  • Excess sebum on the baby’s scalp
  • Not rinsing the baby’s head well enough after shampooing

According to the medical experts, a yeast called Malassezia can also lead to baby dandruff and cradle cap. However, there is no research to claim the same.

Other skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema can also contribute to baby dandruff.

Read More:Baby Hair Care – 11 Do’s and Don’ts

Home Remedies to Treat Baby Dandruff


Listed below are a few remedies that can help your baby get rid of the dandruff. These are:

Use Gentle, Baby-Friendly Shampoo

it is very important for you to choose a shampoo that won’t dry out your little one’s scalp. Baby shampoos are formulated in a way to cleanse your baby’s hair and scalp and at the same time, rinses away flakes associated with cradle cap.

Apply Baby Oil to the Scalp

Applying baby oil will help to moisturize your baby’s head and soothe the dry scalp. You just have to apply a few drops to his/her head and rub it in with your fingertips.

Read More:11 Surprising Benefits of Coconut Oil for Baby Hair

Use a Humidifier

A humidifier will prevent your baby’s skin from drying out, which will in turn prevent and treat baby dandruff. Another benefit is that, it will also allow your baby to breathe a bit easier when they suffer from cold.

Brush Your Baby’s Head

For this, you must ensure that the brush’s bristles are extremely soft. After you have applied oil, brush his/her head as that will keep the baby’s head well hydrated while loosening up the flaky patches of skin, which can be gently rubbed off using the brush.

Consult a Doctor

In case dandruff lasts more than a week, consult a paediatrician. Antifungal cream or another ointment may be prescribed by them to treat the little ones dandruff. Also, do not ever give your baby any medications, prescription or over-the-counter without consulting your doctor first.

Give Your Baby a Head Massage

Massaging the little one’s head will detach the flaky and dead skin making it fall off. The skin that has flaked off will then be replaced with your baby’s newer and healthier skin cells. As your infant’s skull is not fully developed, so you have to be extra cautious while touching your baby’s head. Make sure you do not apply any pressure or press down with your fingers.


Baby dandruff does not necessarily develop into cradle cap. There are cases when it may just remain its most basic state. Moreover, it does not cause your baby any pain or discomfort. In case, it does not go away in a week, make sure you consult a doctor.




Hope this article was of help for all our parents!! Please share your comments/queries/tips with us and help us create a world full of Happy and Healthy Babies!!