Cradle cap can be an annoyance to a baby and parent. Cradle cap is flaky dry skin on the scalp or thick, oily, yellowish, brown scaling and/or crusty patches.
It is not a serious condition unless it starts to spread to other areas, bleeds or if it starts to pus. If any of these symptoms occur, you should contact your pediatrician.
There is a bit of speculation about the cause of cradle cap. Most believe the cause of cradle cap is hormone related, in which case hormones from the mother cause the over stimulation of the baby’s seborrheic glands. There is also speculation that it can be caused by a fungal infection. There is not a definite answer. However, it is not contagious.
Cradle cap care and treatment are pretty simple. If your baby has cradle cap, you can try some of the following;
• Shampoo your baby’s hair at least once per day, and not more than this. When you use shampoo or soap on your baby’s hair, you should also make sure to rinse out all of the product, because leaving some shampoo on baby's head will make the condition worse, instead of better.
• You can also use a shampoo that is designed for cradle cap care, but consult your physician before using a strong shampoo on your baby. Never use adult shampoo on baby’s head.
• Breast milk can be squirted on your baby's head and combed out to remove flakes. More interesting uses of breast milk.
• You can also try an oil remedy. You need to use a small amount of olive, coconut or almond oil (I've used regular vegetable oil, which works just as well) and gently massage into your baby’s scalp. Leave this on for fifteen minutes and then wash baby’s hair with shampoo. Now you can brush out most of the flakes and scales with a soft baby comb.
Cradle cap can also occur on a baby’s eyebrows, and the same treatment can be used, just try to avoid getting soap or shampoo in your baby’s eyes.
Cradle cap is not a cause for serious concern, and you can get rid of the cradle cap with natural home remedies, most of the time.
By Angela Scott