Easy Ways to Get Rid of Cradle Cap in Infants
The cradle cap or crib cap is a version of seborrheic dermatitis in babies. In simple words, it is a form of baby dandruff that causes thick and flaky skin on the scalp. These flakes look yellow and white, with mild redness and yellow crusts on their surfaces. Other than the scalp, it may also appear on the face, forehead, and skinfolds including behind the ears, armpits, and the groin area. It is a harmless and common condition that goes away by the child's first birthday. Most of the time the condition resolves itself when your baby is nearly 3 months old. In rare cases, it goes away slowly when the baby approaches four years of age.
Causes of Cradle Cap
There is no clear cause of why cradle cap occurs in babies. Researchers have postulated that it may occur due to hormonal changes, due to weather, or is some form of immunodeficiency. Some also blame the Malassezia species of yeast that causes adult dandruff.
Remedies for Cradle Cap
Cradle cap is not an allergic reaction and is harmless and goes away on its own. But if you still want to remove it, here are some of the ways to do it. These are safe procedures that do not irritate or harm your baby's sensitive scalp and skin.
- Brushing the Scalp
Brush your baby’s scalp gently but do not pick or scrap at the flakes. It will remove some flakes from their scalp. Do it once a day on wet or dry hair. You can get special brushes for cradle cap from online sites or at a pharmacy. An ultrasoft toothbrush also works fine.
- Hydrating and Moisturizing the Scalp
Moisturize and hydrate your baby's scalp and other affected areas with beneficial plant oils like coconut, almond, olive, or jojoba oil. It loosens the cradle cap and also nourishes the skin and scalp. Do a patch test first to check if the oils do not irritate the baby's skin. Apply a small amount of any of these oils to your baby's scalp and affected skin and massage it gently. Ensure that the oil does not get into the eyes or genitals. Let the oil soak for about fifteen minutes. After that wash the oil out with a gentle baby shampoo or wash. Do it three to four times a week.
Essential oils like lemon or geranium oil mixed with carrier oils of coconut or jojoba oil help too. The process is the same as explained above. But these should only be used if recommended by a doctor or on the advice of a certified aromatherapist and that too by following proper procedures.
- Wash and Shampoo
Washing your baby's hair with omumsie its bath time shampoo + wash will hasten the process of cradle cap removal. Wet your baby's hair and massage the shampoo into their scalp. You can use a baby towel or a soft washcloth to lather the shampoo and apply it to the affected areas. Then rinse with water to remove the lather and shampoo. Pat your baby's scalp dry and apply a baby moisturizing cream or oil on the affected parts to keep them hydrated.
- Prescription Creams
Antifungal prescription creams that contain zinc or hydrocortisone can be applied if recommended by a medical practitioner. In that case, strictly follow the instructions provided on the label or as directed by the physician.
When to Visit a doctor
The cradle cap is harmless and goes away on its own. But sometimes yeast infections happen over the affected portions. If the below mentioned symptoms occur, take your baby to a medical practitioner immediately.
Your baby's skin looks red and the affected area feels warm.
The cradle cap scales start to leak fluid with a bad odor from the affected areas.
If the infant has the cradle cap all over their body, is not putting on weight, and suffering from diarrhea, it may be an immune system issue.
The cradle cap is generally harmless and appears in a considerable number of newborn babies. It usually goes on its own. But to speed it up, you can apply the tried and tested remedies provided above.