Sophia Has had cradle cap since day one and i can say it is one of the most annoying things ever! I have o.c.d (obessive compulsive disorder) So i constantly find myself trying to brush it out 4 to 5 times a week. Not to mention when it does come out it gets every where! Ughhhh . hopefully hers will go away after i use some of the remedies that i found on babycenter.com . i hope you enjoy !
It looks like my baby has dandruff. Is it cradle cap?
If your baby’s scalp has flaky, dry skin that looks like dandruff, or thick, oily, yellowish or brown scaling or crusting patches, it’s probably cradle cap. Doctors call it infantile seborrheic dermatitis, and it’s very common.
Cradle cap isn’t cute, but it’s harmless. It shows up most often in the first few months of life and usually clears up on its own in about six to 12 months – although some children have it for longer.
You might notice the same condition around your baby’s ears or eyebrows, on his eyelids, or even in his armpits and other creases.
What causes cradle cap?
The cause is unknown. But we do know that cradle cap is not caused by poor hygiene or allergies.
Some experts believe that the hormones a baby receives from his mother at the end of pregnancy overstimulate the baby’s oil-producing (seborrheic) glands, resulting in cradle cap. Irritation from a yeast that grows in the sebum (the substance produced by the glands) is also thought to be a possible culprit. But there’s no consensus on the cause.
Cradle cap isn’t contagious. And it probably doesn’t bother your baby at all, although if it gets severe it might itch.
How should I treat my baby’s flaky scalp?
You don’t really need to do anything, but if it bothers you, here are some things to try:
- Gently massage your baby’s scalp with your fingers or a soft brush to loosen the scales.
- Shampoo more frequently (up to once a day), but be sure to rinse out all the soap or shampoo. After shampooing, gently brush your baby’s scalp with a soft brush or a terrycloth towel.
- Some parents have had success using baby shampoos developed especially for cradle cap.
If your baby has a stubborn case of cradle cap, you may want to try an oil remedy to help loosen dry flakes:
Rub a small amount of a pure, natural oil – such as almond or olive oil – on your baby’s scalp and leave it on for about 15 minutes. Then gently comb out the flakes with a fine-tooth comb or brush them out with a soft brush.
Be sure to follow up by washing your baby’s scalp with a gentle baby shampoo. The last thing you want to do is leave oil on his head, which could clog the pores and cause the flakes to stick. You might try leaving the shampoo on for a few minutes before rinsing, to help cut the oil.
Should I take my baby to the doctor?
Talk with your baby’s doctor if the cradle cap is severe, if there is any bleeding, or if it spreads beyond your baby’s scalp.
The doctor may suggest an over-the-counter or prescription dandruff shampoo or, if the scalp is inflamed, a cortisone cream. Less commonly, if a yeast infection could be to blame, the doctor will recommend a topical antifungal medication.