What Should I Expect If My Baby Has Cradle Cap
Cradle cap is a scalp condition that happens in most babies. Its generally a harmless condition that doesnt cause pain, itching or discomfort. It appears within the first weeks to months of life and is rarely seen after 12 months of age in most babies.
The good news is that your babys cradle cap can be easily managed with simple at-home care. Apply petroleum jelly or mineral oil to your babys scalp to loosen scales, use a soft brush to gently remove scales, and, finally, wash your babys hair every day with a mild baby shampoo. If your babys cradle cap doesnt improve with these measures, other products can be tried. Contact your healthcare provider to discuss your babys condition and treatment options.
Once cradle cap has cleared up, shampooing your babys hair with mild baby shampoo two or three times a week should prevent it from returning.
Remedies For Cradle Cap
Home remedies can be effective in reducing discomfort and improving symptoms of mild or moderate cradle cap. More severe, or persistent, cases may need specialized treatments prescribed by a doctor. How long treatment is necessary for depends on the method being used and how severe the condition is.
Home remedies for cradle cap
Cradle cap in babies can be treated at home. One way to treat cradle cap is to warm a small amount of clean, natural oil such as jojoba, almond, coconut or olive oil, and massage it into the affected area. After 15 minutes, the flakes can be gently brushed off. The area should then be thoroughly shampooed, with special care taken to ensure that no oil remains on the skin. Flakes can be removed from the skin by softly brushing with a soft brush or terry cloth towel. Do not scratch the scalp with fingernails or other implements, as this may break the skin.
White petroleum jelly can be applied daily to the babyÃ¢â¬â¢s scalp and is known to soften scales, which can then be brushed off. Regular washing with baby shampoo is also useful. In some cases, coal tar shampoo may be used, but this can sometimes irritate the skin. The same is true for shampoos devised to control dandruff on adult scalp as these can sting, they are not very suitable for use on babies.
Other treatment options
What To Do About Itching
Try to keep your baby from scratching their itchy skin. Scratching can make the rash worse, lead to an infection, and cause the irritated skin to get thicker and more leathery.
Trim their nails often, and then take the edge off of them with a file if you can. Some parents also slip “scratch mittens” onto their little one’s hands. Others try long socks, tucked in under a long-sleeved shirt, so they’re harder for a baby to remove. View a slideshow to get more eczema skin care tips.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Seborrheic Dermatitis In Children
Sometimes seborrheic dermatitis appears on the infants face, especially around the eyes and nose area. It can also appear in the diaper area and in the folds of babies skin.
Seborrheic dermatitis in infants typically goes away at ages 6 to 12 months. Dandruff usually persists into adulthood.
In infants and children, seborrheic dermatitis can appear on the scalp or body as:
A severe case of seborrheic dermatitis in an infant. Note the yellowish crust and scale.
- Yellow crust
- Red skin with white or yellow flakes on top
- Pink patches that join with the red skin
- Swollen areas of skin
For the most part, babies are unbothered by the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis. For more severe cases, it is important to be on the lookout for any signs of infection such as skin that feels hot, weeps fluid or smells bad. Contact your health care provider if you suspect your child has an infection.
Etiology Of Seborrheic Dermatitis
The exact pathophysiology remains unclear. Malassezia organisms are probably not the cause but are a cofactor linked to a T-cell depression, increased sebum levels, and an activation of the alternative complement pathway. Persons prone to this dermatitis also may have a skin-barrier dysfunction.
Because seborrheic dermatitis is uncommon in preadolescent children, and tinea capitis is uncommon after adolescence, dandruff in a child is more likely to represent a fungal infection. A fungal culture should be completed for confirmation.
Various medications may flare or induce seborrheic dermatitis. These medications include auranofin, aurothioglucose, buspirone, chlorpromazine, cimetidine, ethionamide, fluorouracil, gold, griseofulvin, haloperidol, interferon alfa, lithium, methoxsalen, methyldopa, phenothiazines, psoralens, stanozolol, thiothixene, and trioxsalen.
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Natural Remedies For Cradle Cap
Most of the time, cradle cap does not require medical intervention, and it will clear up on its own within a few months. So you actually dont have to do anything to get rid of cradle cap.
If you want to make efforts to lessen the cradle cap or possibly speed its disappearance, then you always want to take the safe and natural route! That means not turning to over-the-counter cortisone or antifungal creams, which can be toxic to a babys delicate skin.
Lets talk about some safe, natural and easy ways to help your babys cradle cap. These remedies are both very inexpensive and often highly effective at decreasing those lingering problem patches.
1. Use a Humidifier
Babies with cradle cap can often have dry, sensitive skin in general. By using a humidifier in your babys bedroom, you can provide more moisture in the air, which will help decrease skin dryness.
If youre using air conditioning or heat, then your home and your babys skin could very likely benefit from some additional humidity in the air. Air conditioning and heating systems are both very drying. A humidifier can help improve overly dry air in the home.
2. Daily Brushing
3. Oil Treatment
Choose a pure oil like organic olive oil, coconut oil or almond oil. Put a small amount of oil in your hand and then rub it gently onto your babys scalp, making sure not to have it drip in the eyes. Leave the oil on for 15 minutes . Next, comb out any flakes with a comb.
4. Choose Baby Shampoo Wisely
5. Resist Overwashing
Types Of Eczema That Affect The Scalp
Seborrhoeic eczema is one of the most common types of eczema seen on the scalp and hairline. It can affect babies , children and adults. The skin appears red and scaly and there is often dandruff as well, which can vary in severity. There may also be a rash on other parts of the face, such as around the eyebrows, eyelids and sides of the nose. Seborrhoeic eczema can become infected. See the National Eczema Society factsheets on Adult seborrhoeic dermatitis and Infantile seborrhoeic dermatitis and cradle cap for more details.
Atopic eczema is another common type of eczema that can affect the scalp at all ages. The skin is red, dry and itchy and can easily become infected, especially if scratched and when there is broken skin.
Allergic contact dermatitis can develop as a result of your body reacting to a particular substance to which you are allergic. Everyday items that can cause allergic contact dermatitis on the scalp include the following:
- Hair shampoos, conditioners, gels, sprays and other hair products
- Hair dyes, perm solutions
See the National Eczema Society booklet on Contact dermatitis for more details.
Irritant contact dermatitis is a type of eczema that occurs when the skins surface is irritated by a substance that causes the skin to become dry, red and itchy. For example, shampoos, mousses, hair gels, hair spray, perm solution and fragrance can all cause irritant contact dermatitis. See the National Eczema Society booklet on Contact dermatitis for more details.
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Baby Clothing For Cradle Cap
Does your little one constantly touch or play with their cradle cap? Are you just tired of seeing flakes fall everywhere? No worries! Try a hat. Its an excellent and one of the most natural cradle cap treatments that exists.
This Remedywear Hat for Kids is a great tool in treating cradle cap, especially when combining it with a natural cream or balm. This hat can easily be used for both wet and dry therapy . If your little one is suffering from cradle cap, as well as ear and face eczema, we suggest checking out this Remedywear Balaclava for Kids. Not only does it soothe skin with TENCEL and anti-inflammatory zinc, but it prevents eliminates the possibility of scratching skin raw.
To learn more about wet wrap therapy, make sure to check out our blog post: Our Eczema Trials Wet Wrap Therapy. Alternatively, you can check out our blog post about dry wrap therapy here: Our Eczema Trials Dry Wrapping.
Seborrheic Dermatitis: Cradle Cap Treatments for Adults
As mentioned previously, cradle cap can turn into seborrheic dermatitis later in life. Similarly to infants, there are several cradle cap treatments for adults that can be used.
Read More: 4 Ways to Relieve Seborrheic Dermatitis
For easy application to your scalp, pop it in the microwave for about 5-10 seconds and apply it to the affected area.
What Can Make It Worse
Each baby is different. But there are some common eczema triggers to avoid, including:
Dry skin. It can make a baby’s skin itchier. Low humidity, especially during winter when homes are well-heated and the air is dry, is a cause.
Irritants. Think scratchy wool clothes, polyester, perfumes, body soaps, and laundry soaps. These can all trigger symptoms.
Stress. Children with eczema may react to stress by flushing. That can lead to itchy, irritated skin. And that, in turn, ramps up their eczema symptoms.
Heat and sweat. Both can make the itch of infant eczema worse.
Allergens. Its not certain, but some experts believe that removing cows milk, peanuts, eggs, or certain fruits from a childs food may help control eczema symptoms. Remember that your baby can get exposed to these foods if their mother eats them before they breastfeed. Find out the connection between food and eczema flares.
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Atopic Eczema Vs Contact Dermatitis
Although these two forms of the conditions seem very similar, there are important differences.
Atopic eczema is the same more or less as a condition like atopic dermatitis, and you are more likely to have that if you have any allergies or your family has a history of hay fever, asthma, or eczema.
Whereas allergic contact dermatitis is not connected to a reaction to allergic antibodies but is an immune-mediated skin rash that flairs up when you come into contact with some kind of chemical allergen.
Can I Pick At My Childs Cradle Cap
Picking at cradle cap can cause it to bleed, so its best not to do so. Also, theres a possibility of an infection occurring if you pick at it. Rather, a gentle bath using oil to massage and brushing off the dried oil seems to do the trick of my children. This is one of the best way to treat cradle cap.
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What Is The Difference Between Cradle Cap Eczema And Psoriasis
Cradle cap is a form of seborrheic dermatitis, which is a form of dermatitis, or skin inflammation. It is related to eczema, or atopic dermatitis, another form of dermatitis. However, seborrheic dermatitis is not as itchy or inflamed as atopic dermatitis. For more information, see this resource on atopic dermatitis.
Psoriasis is not a form of dermatitis, but it is often difficult to distinguish between psoriasis and dermatitis. Psoriasis, like seborrheic or atopic dermatitis, can affect the scalp or skin fold area. It is an inflammatory skin disorder, often appearing as red skin overlaid with white, flaky areas, which leads some people to confuse it with seborrheic dermatitis. However, psoriasis is caused by an overactive immune system causing inflammation, which causes new skin cells to be produced and pushed to the surface too quickly. Because the body cannot shed these cells quickly enough, they build up on the skin surface and form red, scaly, itchy plaques.
Seborrheic Dermatitis Vs Eczema
Seborrheic dermatitis may not sound familiar until you realise thats the scientific name for dandruff.
This type of dermatitis, as you may know, causes the skin, primarily from your scalp, to drop off in flakes.
Generally speaking, when infants suffer from this condition, it affects just the scalp, but when adults suffer from it, they may experience the same symptoms and effects on the centre of their chest, groin, around their ears and nose and on their eyebrows.
It specifically affects areas, where hair grows and/or oils, are produced and secreted.
It is believed that the condition may develop as a result of too much of a form of yeast that lives in these areas, as well as continuous overgrowth and then rapid shedding of skin cells on your scalp.
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What Is Seborrheic Dermatitis
Commonly known as cradle cap in infants, seborrheic dermatitis affects adults as well.
Similarly to eczema, it is a form of inflammation but is linked to two combined factors.
A insérer en textes en 2 colonnes ci dessous :
First factor: sebum overproduction. That is why it affects mainly the scalp, which has a naturally high sebum production.
Second factor: a fungus, which leads to abnormal yeast proliferation.
Premier facteur :
Une production de sébum trop importante. C’est pour cela qu’elle touche essentiellement le cuir chevelu, lieu d’une grande production naturelle de sébum.
Second facteur :
When Should I See My Doctor
If the cradle cap becomes inflamed or infected, a course of antibiotics or an antifungal cream or shampoo, such as ketoconazole, may be prescribed by a doctor. A mild steroid cream such as hydrocortisone may be recommended for an inflamed rash.
Its a good idea to see the doctor if:
- cradle cap continues after your baby is 3 months or is itchy to your baby, as this may be a sign of eczema and will need to be treated differently
- the cradle cap does not improve with treatment or your baby has signs of cradle cap on the face or body
- the skin under crusts becomes inflamed this can be a sign of infection and will need different treatment
- youre not sure it is cradle cap
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How Do You Treat Cradle Cap
The good news for cradle cap is that the condition isnt contagious, and it generally isnt painful or itchy. Plus, it wont leave any scars. Most people simply worry due to the appearance and the worry that it may be eczema and not cradle cap.
Treatment is simple and a natural approach is best.
Cradle cap comes from the production of too much oil in the oil glands and hair follicles, trapping dead skin cells. Another reason may be Malassezia, which is a yeast fungus that grows in the sebum along with bacteria. The best way to prevent cradle cap is to wash your babies hair daily with a gentle and mild babies shampoo like CeraVe Baby Shampoo this will help prevent the build-up of oils and stop the scalp from becoming dry and scaly.
How to manage cradle cap:
- Apply baby oil or olive oil to your babies head before bedtime
- Wash off the oil using a mild and gentle shampoo
- Dry with a soft towel
- Brush the excess skin flakes off with a cradle cap brush
This process is the best way to treat and manage cradle cap. Dont worry if in this process some hair falls out. It will grow back and is totally natural and will not leave any bald patches.
Brushing the excess skin from their head is very therapeutic for both mother and child. My wife loved to sit for hours taking all the bits of dead skin out from our sons head. Its a good way to build that natural mother and child bond.
Seborrheic Dermatitis: Treatment And Remedies
The treatment for seborrheic dermatitis includes dandruff shampoos, over-the-counter antifungal creams, avoidance of harsh soaps and detergents, and anti-itching creams applied topically to the affected area. Foods high in biotin, or vitamin B7, might also help alleviate symptoms, at least in infants: one study reported that nursing infants with cradle cap improved when foods rich in biotin, such as liver and egg yolk, were added to the mother’s diet. However, further studies are warranted before any recommendations can be made with regard to the use of biotin as a remedy for seborrheic dermatitis.
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What Causes Infantile Seborrhoeic Dermatitis
The exact cause of infantile seborrhoeic dermatitis is not known, but it is believed to be linked to developing sebaceous glands. It usually appears around birth or in the first couple of months of life, and is thought to be caused by hyperactivity of sebaceous glands responsive to residual circulating maternal hormones shortly after birth. This is why the condition usually resolves by one year of age and does not return. Malassezia yeasts are also indicated in this condition, although their exact role is not clear. A family history of eczema or other skin conditions does not seem to be of great significance, although some babies with seborrhoeic dermatitis will also develop atopic eczema, especially if seborrhoeic dermatitis is more severe and extensive.
It can sometimes be difficult for a doctor to determine whether a baby has seborrhoeic dermatitis or another skin condition, such as psoriasis or nappy rash, because they all look similar. However, if the skin creases are unaffected, it is probably nappy rash. Fortunately, treatments for these different conditions in the nappy area are often the same. Infantile seborrhoeic dermatitis usually clears by the babys first birthday and is very unlikely to lead to further skin problems later on in life.