Cradle cap is technically referred to as Seborrheic dermatitis and in adults is referred to as dandruff. In babies it looks like scales that have a yellow, green color and are present on the scalp of infants.
This is an extremely common condition that is completely harmless to your youngster and does not cause any discomfort or pain or itch to them.
Recognizing Cradle Cap
Like I mentioned, it appears like scales on the babies head and are quite large and greasy. They will eventually flake and come off without any intervention although you can speed up the process.
I must state again that this is a very common condition and is not to be worried about! Aside from the strange look of it, it is completely normal.
The issue arises if you begin to pick at the cradle cap – infection can occur if you pick the flakes away before they are ready.
If cradle cap hasn’t resolved by the age of 3 months then it would be beneficial to visit your doctor as it could be eczema.
What Causes Cradle Cap?
It can be hard to know what is the cause of this but as it is excess oil it could be due to overactive sebaceous glands. These glands produce sebum which is the oily substance and in excess can lead to cradle cap.
Babies are still receiving milk and vital nutrients from their mum and in the first few weeks will still have a high amount of female hormones present.
Cradle cap is a medical issue and is definitely not contagious or a result of poor hygiene.
What is the Best Treatment?
Again, there is no need to treat this but there are a few tricks I can recommend. The most simple treatment is a light wash which can stop the skin flakes from building up.
I use an oil, my preferred type is coconut but you can use any, I rub it into the scalp about 30mins before bath time. Then in the bath I give it a wash with shampoo and then I find the flakes are very loose and come away easily.
Then you can use a soft brush to gently remove the particles that are flaking away. I highly recommend a natural shampoo for your little ones sensitive scalp.
There are actually shampoos that target cradle cap and can loosen the flakes, I ama a bit skeptical of their use and really don’t agree to using chemicals on an infants head. This is a bit outrageous in my opinion. Cradle cap causes no discomfort so if you are worried about the appearance then put a beanie on them instead.
Cradle cap is a non-serious illness that is actually very common in newborn babies. There is no need to stress if your little one has patches of cradle cap, the issue will resolve itself. There are a few techniques you can use to help speed up the process and that includes a light oil, shampoo and brush.