Monday, November 21, 2011

Concerns by Area Post: What is Cradle Cap?

From google images, an example of Cradle Cap
One day I was brushing one of twin girls hair, Mya and I noticed that her scalp was severely dry. I thought that she was still peeling (getting her new skin) and I continued to brush her hair. Three days later, I noticed that her whole scalp was very dry and flaky. I shampooed her hair immediately and the next day it was still there. After speaking with the pediatrician, she told me that my daughter had Cradle Cap.

What is Cradle Cap?

Cradle Cap is common in babies for the first eight months. It is flaky, dry skin that looks like dandruff that can also take the appearance of thick yellowish, oily or brown crust on a babies scalp. Severe cases are around the eyes, forehead and under the arms.

What Causes Cradle Cap?

The cause of Cradle Cap is unknown. Doctors suggest that Cradle Cap can be caused by an overstimulate of the oily glands but that theory has not been proven. Some parents on baby forums suggest that particular shampoo causes Cradle Cap, but again that has not been proven. Cradle Cap is harmless and should clear up during six to 12 months of a babies life.

How to Treat Cradle Cap?

Cradle Cap is not a disease, it is not inherited and it is not contagious. As mentioned before, Cradle Cap does not go away permanently but there are ways to minimize the dry skin and flakes:

  • After each bath, I moisturize my daughters scalp with baby oil. According to the American Pediatrics Association, mineral oil is a better solution, but in my experience, baby oil does the trick. The baby oil (although ironic) helps separate the flakes from the scalp. 
  • Wait 30 minutes before washing the oil and flakes out of the baby's hair or wash the hair the next day. I prefer to wash my daughters hair the next day because I want the oil to seep into the scalp for a long period of time. 
  • You will notice that the flakes will begin to rise from the scalp. Gently comb through the baby's hair to get the rest of the flakes off the scalp. 
  • Shampoo IMMEDIATEDLY; at least 3 times until most of the flakes are gone. Depending on the texture of your infant's hair, it might be challenging to get all of the flakes out. 
  • Dry hair. 
  • Put baby oil on the scalp and comb through gently.
  • Shampoo every other day, but moisturize the scalp every day. 
To treat Cradle Cap that is not on the scalp, try using Aquaphor two times a day. If the case is more severe, please call your doctor. 
Do you have any remedies to treat Cradle Cap? Did your infants have Cradle Cap?


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