What cradle cap is: Cradle cap is the regular name of infantile seborrheic dermatitis that affects 50% of young baby. It is actually a layer of dead cells adhering to baby’s scalp. It is a harmless phenomenon and would not bother baby. Its thick white changes to darker color by time and closes scaly plaques in cracked skin. When the scales fall, affected skin areas become red for a while.
The cause: Over secretion of seborrhea holding dead cells and waste to form shape is believed to be the main cause and it’s not the indication of poor- hygiene or allergy. According to some researchers, a type of fungus along with bacteria grows in sebum leads to the development of cradle cap. Another theory says that baby has received hormone from mom that make skin oil over- stimulating. In some rare cases, the scale invades face, neck or diaper areas, you had better take baby to hospital. The doctor may suggest an over-the-counter prescription or dandruff shampoo or if the scalp is inflamed, a cortisone cream.
The sign: you know your baby has cradle cap when the baby has
- Scale plaques on head
- Some areas are irritated
- Sometimes, you can see the plaque on eyebrow or ears
Home remedies for cradle cap: as usual, the scales loosen when baby get older, but if you don’t want natural removal, you can follow these processes.
There are some common principles for you to considerate:
- Don’t try to use too many ways to take away the flakes if you don’t want to cause skin infection for your baby.
- Regularly wash your baby with specialized oils for infants to remove mucus and scabs. After shampooing, keep the skin dry and free.
- On warm days, do not use hat for children because it can cause pores for clogging. We recommend you should choose soft cotton hat for the baby.
- Use a towel or a comb with soft bristles to brush gently and eliminate dead cells and squamous skin when bathing a child.
3 main steps contain: before shower, shampoo and after shampooing
- Before shower and shampoo
The main purpose is to soften and easy for peeling off the crust. There are many kinds of oil for you to choose, include Vaseline, essential and baby oil. Before shampooing, apply some essential oils for baby (or olive oil) to the area and surroundings. After a few minutes, shampoo for children.
- Vaseline: Vaseline is a product for excellent ability to moisturize the skin, so it is especially useful for the dry skin and dead cells layers. Despite moisturizer cream, Vaseline doesn’t cause greasy and sticky feeling and you can use it for your baby almost time but not all the time to have the greatest use. It keeps baby’s scalp, especially cradle cap areas soft.
- Olive oil: beside softening value, olive oil is effective for skin anti- inflammation. It’s useful for some types of dermatitis including seborrheic dermatitis –cradle cap. Brush and cloth that helps removing crust can leave bacteria off baby’s skin, when new layer of skin is thin because of peeling process. But another notice is not to leave olive oil on baby’s head in a time, too much oil can cause plaques stick together and it makes cradle cap worse. Some olive oil can treat blackheads as well.
When the scabs are soft and easy to rub, use brush or clean wash cloth to remove them. In addition, using lemon, locust- tree as shampoo helps cleaning baby’s scalp
- Lemon: low pH medium in lemon helps exfoliate the dead cells, vitamin C inhibits sebum excretion which is believed the main cause of cradle cap. Moreover, lemon prevents body skin from fungus and bacteria so it is used to clean the body.
Mix 1 lemon with about 2 liters of warm water. Wet the cradle cap area with lime water in about 5 minutes. Be careful with water because it can sting baby’s eyes. Then rinse under water slowly while rubbing baby’s head with brush or cloth gently.
- Locust- tree: boil the crushed locust fruit and shampoo baby once a day. The main ingredient in locust is saponin, a mixture containing yellow foam has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, cleansing… Also, locust also contains flavonozit compounds, including saponaretin that help reduces hair loss and prevents dandruff hair very effectively.
- After shampoo
- Wait until scale turns harder, use dry cloth to wipe and slap mildly on baby head, not your hands.
- Or you can add tea water on cradle cap area every time for several days, continue spotting tea when the head is dry. If necessary, you can cover the head with towel dipped in tea water. But in this period, don’t use shampoo for baby.
- There is one traditional way that spotting some drops of breast milk will help cleansing baby head from cradle cap effectively.