Cradle Cap in Infants, Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Pictures
Cradle cap is a skin disorder that often occurs in new born babies. It may be alarming to look at and unfortunate for a cute, little, innocent baby to acquire at such a young age. However, cradle cap is harmless and the condition clears by itself after a few months. This condition is also not contagious.
Cradle cap appears as yellow, greasy and patchy crusts found commonly on scalps of babies. It is also known as infantile seborrhoeic dermatitis, which refers to the inflammation of sebaceous glands on the skin. The sebaceous glands create a substance called sebum to protect our skin. Cradle cap happens when there’s too much sebum production to the extent that it gathers in one place and eventually shed like skin flakes. It looks very similar to heavy dandruff. It can also be found on the face, armpits and nose, although these conditions are not termed as cradle cap but are called seborrhoeic eczema and medical attention is needed with this type of skin condition.
Causes of Cradle Cap
The cause of cradle cap is yet to be identified. However, there are theories that have been suggested. One of which is that the cradle cap is due to the hormones of the mother left on her baby’s body while the baby was still in her womb. Because of these hormones, the secretion of oil from the sebaceous glands is increased resulting to cradle cap. In time, the secretions would eventually decrease to its normal amount and the cradle cap will cease resolve. Another theory states that cradle cap may be due to the baby’s young digestive system which is still unable to absorb sufficient minerals like biotin. Furthermore, the intake of antibiotics before giving birth may also cause the condition due to the possibility that the antibiotic did not only kill the bad bacteria, but the good bacteria as well.
Treatment for Cradle Cap
Cradle cap usually goes away on its own after a few weeks or months. Here are a few strategies that can help manage and resolve condition of your baby’s skin faster.
• Regularly bathe your baby and wash your baby’s hair with a gentle shampoo. While shampooing the hair, gently massage the head and loosen the flakes with the aid of a soft brush. By doing this regularly, cradle cap will cease quicker.
• With the use of mild baby oil, coconut oil or olive oil, rub a thin layer on the baby’s scalp. Let it stay on the head for a few hours or even overnight if you prefer to do so. After that, remove the flakes with the use of a fine comb and clean the remaining oily substance using mild baby shampoo.
• Apply a mild antidandruff shampoo on the baby’s scalp. Be very careful in applying this for the solution can harm the baby’s eyes.
• If the cradle cap does not go away after a long time or if it becomes red and inflamed, it is best to consult a doctor. The doctor would then prescribe antifungal or antibacterial medications for this.
Do not leave cradle cap untreated, this would cause for the crust on the scalp to thicken and more difficult to remove. The most important thing to do is to keenly observe the progress of the cradle cap on your baby. Follow the proper actions to do in treating the cradle cap. If it still persists after a period of time, do not hesitate to ask for medical help.