What is Cradle Cap?
Cradle cap is the most typical skin issue in toddlers. Cradle cap is the irregular, yellowish, scaly, greasy, and crusty look on the scalp of brand-new born babies. It is neither contagious nor itchy. Cradle cap is identified by the dandruff like dry flakes on the scalp of the baby. It mainly appears in first 3 months of new born baby. It is scientifically called as neonatal seborrhoeic dermatitis or infantile. It not just attacks sensitive scalp of the baby, but likewise eyebrows, eyelids, and area around ears.
Cradle cap is also typical in grownups, mainly less than 40 years. In grownups, it appears as skin swelling. Cradle cap in adults is termed as seborrhoeic eczema or seborrhoeic dermatitis. The oily areas producing sebum in grownups are attacked by a fungal infection.
Causes of Cradle Cap in Babies
Cradle cap is neither allergic nor bacterial infection, but can be considered as an inflammatory condition. Cradle cap is a fungal infection, which surfaces due to the antibiotics given to mother before the child’s birth. When the hormones passed by a mother to a child increase the size of the oil glands, more sebum is produced. Various other causes of cradle cap are:
- Hormonal agents passed from mom to baby
- Antifungal treatments
- Antibiotics offered to mom during pregnancy
- Overstimulation of oil glands of baby
- Severe weather condition
- Certain baby creams, which includes alcohol
- Irregular skin cleaning
- Oily skin
- Skin disorders
- Food allergies
- Development of yeast in the digestion tract
Causes of Cradle Cap in Adults
- Hormonal irregularities
- Enhanced humidity
- Extreme temperature
- Emotional stress
- Immune shortage illness, like HIV
- Neurologic disorders, like Parkinson’s disease
- Development of fungus, called Malassezia
Signs and Symptoms
Cradle cap appears different in every child and grownup. It in fact looks like dandruff on baby’s scalp. It is commonly seen on baby’s scalp, eyebrows, area around ears, and eyelids. Though, it is not contagious, however ends up being severe when left without treatment. It can quickly be identified by following signs and symptoms.
Symptoms in Infant/Baby
- Greasy spots
- Yellowish or whitish scales
- Thick and crusty flakes
- Red and annoying skin
- Irregular skin flakes (dandruff).
- Babies may go through hair loss.
Symptoms in Adult
- Formation of dandruff.
- Moderate spots starts establishing on the scalp and face.
- Itchy scales or spots.
- Rashes begin developing in oval or round patches.
- Yellow or brown thick crust on patches.
- Red rashes or sores on neck, face, groins, and armpits.
Home Remedies for Cradle Cap
Though, cradle cap is not contagious, however looks extremely unsightly on a child’s scalp. It is thought that cradle cap disappear itself after a couple of months, but as a parent, you can not just sit and wait for its self healing. There are several natural solutions readily available for the treatment of cradle cap in toddlers, keeping in mind their soft and tender skin. You just need to go through these solutions and practice them to treat the disorder.
1. Shea Butter
Shea butter is a natural solution for curing cradle cap. All of us understand that skin of babies is extremely soft and tender. Shea butter can quickly be soaked up by the skin of scalp without leaving any oily residue. It does not obstruct pores and prevent the development of oil or dandruff.
You are required to rub some shea butter onto the afflicted area and leave it for 20 minutes. After a specified time, use a soft toothed comb to choose flakes. Wash baby’s head with shampoo. Gently wipe baby’s head.
2. Oil Jelly Or Vaseline
Vaseline is handy in alleviating cradle cap. It is the most easiest and convenient treatment for cradle cap. Simply use some Vaseline on the infected area. Leave it over night. This will make scales soft, which can be eliminated with the assistance of soft toothed comb.
3. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil works really effectively on cradle cap. It is one of the natural treatments for cradle cap. All you need to do is to use some coconut oil on baby’s head covering the infected area. Use a fine and soft toothed comb to eliminate flakes. After combing, use a mild hair shampoo to wash baby’s hair, which will get rid of extra flakes. Use a soft towel to wipe baby’s head.
4. Mineral Oil
Mineral oil is a natural cure for baby cradle cap. You are suggested to apply some mineral oil on baby’s head. Let it be on baby’s scalp for a couple of hours. Then, rinse baby’s hair and scalp appropriately with a baby shampoo. While washing hair, carefully rub baby’s scalp with the assistance of clean wet washcloth in a circular movement. This method will remove flakes from scalp quickly.
5. Olive Oil
Olive oil is the frequently used oil for recovery cradle cap in infants. To eliminate crust-like scales and flakes from baby’s scalp, apply some olive oil on his/her head. Let it rest for 15 minutes. Oil will soak the dry scales, which can be easily removed with great toothed comb. You can likewise use a clean soft washcloth to get rid of flakes.
6. Fine Toothed Comb
When a baby suffers with cradle cap, use fine toothed soft comb to choose flakes from head. The flakes or scales can quickly be eliminated after oiling head.
Note: Do not put excessive pressure while utilizing a comb to get rid of scales.
7. Baby Shampoo
Baby shampoo is likewise an excellent remedy for treating cradle cap. The mildness of hair shampoo assists in loosening up the flakes of cradle cap. You just require to soak baby’s head with warm water. Use some baby shampoo and carefully rub the head. Wash it with warm water. Now, use a fine toothed comb to remove scales from baby’s head.
8. Tea Tree Oil
What to use for cradle cap other than olive oil, Vaseline, and baby shampoo? The answer is tea tree oil. Though, it is thought about as wonder oil however is very harmful. It should not be used straight on baby’s skin. For curing cradle cap, you need to weaken tea tree oil. You have to blend tea tree oil and almond oil in a ratio of 1:10. Stir it well and apply it on baby’s head. Leave it for 15 minutes. Remove flakes gently with fine toothed comb.
You can likewise mix 4-5 drops of tea tree oil in one tbsp of olive oil. Utilize it on the infected area. After 5-10 minutes, rinse with a mild shampoo.
Note: Tea tree oil is very volatile oil. Prevent its contact with eyes, mouth, and nose.
9. Medicated Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
Medicated hair shampoos or anti-dandruff hair shampoos are very reliable for eliminating cradle cap. These shampoos have tar, which works on flakiness and prevent skin from getting dry. It also contains salicylic acid and sulphur. You need to clean your baby’s hair carefully with medicated anti-dandruff shampoo.
10. Almond Oil
Almond oil is very safe for dealing with cradle cap in infants. Because the skin of a baby is very sensitive, almond oil can be used on the infected area. Let the flakes damp for a few minutes. With the assistance of a great toothed comb, eliminate the flakes thoroughly. You can also use a soft washcloth rather of comb.
11. Hydrocortisone Cream
Hydrocortisone cream is a marvel cream, which treat cradle cap effectively. Hydrocortisone cream is also practical versus skin diseases, like eczema. Simply use pea-size hydrocortisone cream on the afflicted parts in the early morning. Observe the impacts and if essential, use some more cream before sleeping.
Note: Do not over use hydrocortisone cream on the baby’s head since it has steroids.
12. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
The acidic home of apple cider vinegar (ACV) assists in getting rid of cradle cap in toddlers. This solution recommends including apple cider vinegar in water in a ratio of 1:2. Now, massage it carefully on the bothersome area. Let it rest for 10 minutes. Wash it off at the time of bathing. Apple cider vinegar will combat versus the dead skin.
The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of calendula organic plant assistance in relieving the symptoms of cradle cap. You need to apply some calendula cream on the uncomfortable area. It will undoubtedly provide relief.
14. Baking Soda
Cradle cap is very common in toddlers. To ease the symptoms of cradle cap, baking soda can be an effective home remedy. You are needed to form a paste by mixing a small amount of water in 1-2 teaspoons of baking soda. Mix it well and put it on the infected area. Let it sit for some time and use a soft comb to remove flakes.
You can likewise make a paste by blending some natural oil with baking soda. Combine both the ingredients in 1:1 ratio and use it on the baby’s scalp. Use a soft comb to pick out flaky material.
15. Cradle Cap Brush
The skin of infants is really sensitive and tender. Keeping this in mind, several brushes are available in the market, which have soft bristles to eliminate cradle cap or yellowish flakes. Use it gently on baby’s scalp to eliminate dry skin. It can also be used after applying natural oils.
Preventive Measures for Cradle Cap
Though not dangerous, cradle cap can be traumatic for the child and parent. be prevented. Here are some preventive actions to be followed by parents:
- Prevent regular shampooing.
- Use an excellent hair shampoo, like medicated hair shampoo or anti-dandruff shampoo.
- Use a mild exfoliator, i.e., baby combs with soft bristles.
- Apply oil or oil jelly, frequently.
- Do not comb scaly skin with force.
- Stay with breastfeeding.
- Use a humidifier in the baby’s room to preserve a wet environment.
- Use just moderate baby hair shampoo.
- Wash effectively to eliminate traces of soap.
- Before shampooing, always remember to apply mineral oil.
- Ask pediatrician’s suggestions, if infection grows more.
- Use your fingers or clean washcloth on baby’s scalp while shampooing.
- Use natural oils for massage.