Have you recently noticed some white flaky skin on your little baby’s scalp? Well, it might be the symptom of infantile seborrhoeic dermatitis or "cradle cap", as this condition is commonly known as. Go through this article for more information on how to treat cradle cap in infants.
Cradle cap is a skin disorder believed to be caused by traces of maternal hormones in the infant’s blood. These hormones influence the oil glands on the baby’s skin, and excessive secretion of oil from the skin causes the dead skin cells to remain on the scalp. It’s a relatively common condition that mostly affects babies who are less than eight months old.
If you are wondering how to be sure if your infant has cradle cap, then let me tell you that this skin problem is characterized by flaky patches on the skin of the scalp that appears like dandruff. Although it is normally restricted to the scalp area, in rare cases, it might even spread to the skin of the face and other parts of the body. However, there is no pain or itchiness in the affected areas, although the condition might sometimes be accompanied by redness of the skin.
Some believe that cradle cap in infants is an infection caused by microorganisms or an allergic reaction, but this is not true. Doctors have not been able to determine the exact cause for this skin condition. If your baby has been diagnosed with this condition, which is medically termed as infantile seborrhoeic dermatitis, then you can try a few simple methods to control the symptoms of the disorder.
Treating Cradle Cap in Infants
The symptoms of cradle cap usually appear when the baby is a few weeks to a month old, and normally doesn’t require any dosage of medication. However, there are simple things that you can do to reduce the symptoms to some extent. Using a mild and gentle shampoo to clean your baby’s hair and scalp might prove to be effective.
Applying olive oil on your baby’s scalp might help in loosening the scales. After applying oil, gently comb your baby’s hair with a fine-toothed comb to remove the flaky skin. When using the comb to brush away the scales, always comb from the front to back, all the while remembering to be gentle. Keep your baby’s scalp hydrated at all times by massaging his scalp with oils or moisturizer. It is important for you to continue with the oiling and washing process till the flakes have considerably reduced. The process of removing the scales should be spread over a few days, and you should not attempt to remove flakes from the entire head all at once. Combing your baby’s hair and massaging it with oil can help in preventing the flaky skin to reappear again. However, remember that too much combing can prove to be harsh on the baby’s sensitive skin.
If you find that the symptoms have spread to other parts of the body, take your little one to a dermatologist. This is because cradle cap is generally restricted to the skin of the scalp, and its spreading to other parts of the body might be a symptom of eczema. In such a scenario, the doctor might prescribe some skin ointments to tackle the problem. Also, if an allergic reaction is responsible for the flaky skin, then it has a high chance of spreading to other parts of the body such as the face, neck, arms and abdomen.
Cradle cap rarely leads to complications, but there is a little risk of infection. In rare cases, the skin area affected by the condition, can get infected by bacteria or fungi. If you notice any traces of infection such as excessive itching or redness accompanied by pain on the scalp, consult a skin specialist who might prescribe antibiotic ointments and medication.
Thus, we see that proper and prompt treatment can help tackle the symptoms of cradle cap effectively and prevent it from relapsing in future. Hope this article proves useful and brings that smile back to your face on seeing the last traces of flaky skin disappear from your little one’s head, once and for all!