Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Cradle Cap in Babies: Natural Treatment and Home Remedies for Dermatitis

If your baby's scalp is dry and flaky, resembling dandruff, or is oily, thick and has yellow-brown scales or crusts, it is cradle cap. Medically, cradle cap is called infantile seborrheic dermatitis, and is extremely common. Below are a host of cradle cap remedies and treatment guidelines for getting rid of cradle cap.

Cradle Cap is a Common Pediatric Condition
What is Cradle Cap?

Cradle cap results in scaly crusts on the baby's scalp. Although not serious, it can cause thick crusting and formation of yellow scales. By and large, the condition resolves on its own in a few months. However, in case it persists or becomes severe, you must consult your pediatrician.

Cradle Cap in Babies

Clinical manifestations of cradle cap are: 

  • Dryness of the scalp
  • Scaling or crusting of the scalp; occasionally, scales may be present on the eyelids, ears, nose or groin.
  • Greasy skin covered with scales (yellow-brown)
  • Dandruff
  • Mild redness

What Causes Cradle Cap?: Infantile Seborrheic Dermatitis

The condition is extremely common in newborns. It isn't contagious and usually does not bother the baby. The cause of cradle cap is not precisely known; however, there are certain contributing factors:

  • Hormones passed from the mother to the baby before birth is a contributing factor. The maternal hormones trigger an abnormal production of sebum in the glands, thereby, resulting in crusting.  
  • Yeast called malassezia that multiplies in the sebum along with bacteria may also case crusting and scaling.
Cradle Cap Treatment: How to Treat Cradle Cap?

Cradle cap, more often than not, does not need any treatment. It resolves on its own in a few weeks time. You must wash the scalp once daily, using a mild baby shampoo; and brush the scalp very gently with a soft-bristle brush to get rid of the crusts.
In severe and persistent cases, a prescription anti fungal shampoo may be required; rarely, cradle cap may resemble infantile eczema or ringworm, you need to speak to your pediatrician for that.

Avocado Oil Helps Manage Cradle Cap
Natural treatment for Cradle Cap: Natural Remedies

  1. Rub olive oil or almond oil or avocado oil in to the baby's scalp, very gently. Let it soak into the crusts for some time, then brush the scalp gently, and shampoo the hair as usual.
  2. Do not leave the oil in the baby's scalp and hair, the crusts will build up, the pores will get clogged, the flakes will stick to the scalp and thus greatly aggravate the condition.
While application of lotions can help relieve the dryness and dermatitis, it may also be associated with sudden hair loss in your baby. Eventually however, your baby will gain all her hair within a few months.

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