Noticing the scales of white or yellow patches on the baby’s head may be a nightmare for the parents. Worry not! It is not harmful and very common among babies. Experts call this condition as infantile seborrheic dermatitis or cradle cap, which generally appears on baby’s head during the first few months of their birth.
What is cradle cap?
Cradle cap is a greasy, yellow scaly patch that sometimes appears on the scalps of young babies. It is common, and not dangerous. It doesn’t usually itch or cause discomfort. Cradle cap is neither contagious nor a result of poor hygiene and it is also not allergic.
What are the causes of cradle cap?
The exact cause of cradle cap is unknown. However, it may be associated with
– High levels of an oily substance called sebum on affected areas
– A reaction to a yeast (a type of fungus) on the skin
What are the common complaints of cradle cap?
The common complaints of cradle cap are:
– Patchy scaling or thick crusts on the scalp
– Oily or dry skin covered with flaky white or yellow scales
– Skin flakes (dandruff)
– Possibly mild redness
Does cradle cap cause hair loss?
Hair loss can occur when hair stuck in the cradle cap falls off with the patch. This is normal, and the hair will grow back naturally.
What precautions parents should take in case of cradle cap?
The precautions that parents should take includes:
– Do not pick or scratch the area, as this may lead to infection
– Once the scales disappear, the gentle washing process should be repeated every few days to prevent them from recurring
How is cradle cap treated?
In most cases, cradle caps clear up on their own without treatment within weeks to a few months. However, your doctor may suggest the following care:
– Wash your baby’s hair once a day with mild baby shampoo
– Brush the scalp lightly with a soft brush to loosen the scale
– If the scales don’t loosen easily, rub petroleum jelly or a few drops of mineral oil onto your baby’s scalp.
– Don’t leave oil on baby’s scalp and wash it after a few minutes.
Nobody wants their baby’s sensitive skin to be affected by harsh chemicals. Consult your dermatologist before using any skin care products on your baby’s tender skin or if the condition severs. Let the fear not get on to you, now that you have the needed understanding of cradle caps.
Bask in the delight of motherhood!