Cradle cap is a form of dermatitis, looking very similar to a bad case of dandruff, that affects the scalp of babies generally in their first few months.
Older babies and toddlers can also get cradle cap and it can linger for weeks or months. Although the condition can look unattractive, it’s not itchy and won’t cause your baby any discomfort.
What Does Cradle Cap Look Like:
Here are some examples of cradle cap: But it looks like crusty scaly earwax that is stuck to the scalp or the face.
How did this happen to my baby?
It’s thought that cradle cap happens as a result of lingering hormones in your baby’s body following the pregnancy. The hormones stimulate secretions from the oil glands in the skin. Naturally falling skin flakes from your baby’s scalp get stuck in the oil and stick to the scalp.
Generally, these secretions slow down over time and cradle cap tends to clear up on its own.
But for some children cradle cap can linger on and on.
What can I do to remove or treat cradle cap?
Firstly, do not pick at the scaly patches on your baby’s head. Picking can leave sore patches that could become infected, and can become sore when they weren’t sore to start with.
Try one or all of these methods to gently remove cradle cap:
1. Fill a stocking with ½ cup of oats and use as a sponge in the bath for all dermatitis affected areas of the body, including cradle cap on scalp. Used regularly the soothing properties of oatmeal clear up the affected areas.
2. Regularly wash your baby’s hair with a baby shampoo then loosen the flakes using a soft brush.
3. Coat cradle cap with mild conditioner, allow to soften flakes then use a nit comb or similar to gently dislodge flakes.
4. Rub a mild baby oil or olive oil into your baby’s scalp, leave in hair as long as possible, overnight if you wish, then brush of the flakes with a coarse dry face cloth. Wash remaining oil off with regular baby shampoo.
If you suspect your baby’s cradle cap has become infected, seek medical attention as a course of antibiotics or antifungal cream may be required.
If you become concerned about cradle cap or any condition please seek immediate medical attention – we have some hotlines and suggested websites for further information and advice – http://www.stayathomemum.com.au/my-kids/babies/important-hotlines-websites/
SAHM takes no responsibility for any illness, injury or death caused by misuse of this information. All information provided is correct at time of publication.