What Causes Cradle Cap In Newborns

What Treatment Is Available For Newborn Baby Cradle Cap6

How can I help my baby with cradle cap?

Treatments for cradle cap span from things parents can do at home to topical creams available at the pharmacy. Treatment for newborn baby cradle cap includes:

  • Washing a babys hair frequently. A healthcare provider may suggest special shampoo, but otherwise use unscented baby shampoo. Find more tips on how to bathe your newborn baby.

  • Brushing hair regularly with a soft brush to loosen cradle cap flakes. If you notice that some hair falls out in the process, dont fear. It will grow back! Applying baby oil, vegetable oil or petroleum jelly at night to keep the area moisturised. Avoid using peanut oil, however, just in case your baby has allergies, and note that olive oil has not been shown to be effective when used on skin.

  • Using corticosteroid cream or lotion should cradle cap be very pronounced or does not appear to be going away.

As cradle cap is being treated, parents should avoid using soap or adult shampoos and try to avoid the urge to pick at crusts that are not coming off on their own.

Picking crusts can make the area red and inflamed and can prevent it clearing up.

When To Seek Medical Care For Cradle Cap

If the cradle cap or seborrheic dermatitis is severe or persistent, your doctor may prescribe a special antifungal or tar shampoo, or stronger corticosteroid cream or lotion. If your babys skin feels hot, weeps fluid, smells bador has any other concerning signs of infectioncall your doctor right away.

Remember, cradle cap is self-limiting and benign. But just as this condition is fleeting, so is that newborn baby scent!

Factually reviewed by Dr. Seran Kim, board-certified Emergency Physician, on June 8, 2021.

Dr. Seran Kim is a board-certified Emergency Physician, cancer survivor and mom to three rambunctious boys, and shes one of the doctors who helped develop the Babylist First Aid Kit. When not working, she can be found hiking, reading or embarrassing her kids with her hip-hop dancing. She has a weakness for milk chocolate and succulent plants that dont need regular watering. She cannot live without GooGone and her power drill. She is adamant about helmets and seatbeltsand coffee. She believes the key to parenting survival is surrounding yourself with other families and raising kids as a village.

When To Go To The Doctor

If your baby shows the following signs then you must take him to a doctor immediately:

  • Presence of scales on the face , armpits, and diaper area: The American Academy of Paediatrics recognizes the presence of cradle cap on said areas as seborrheic dermatitis. However, some experts do not consider it normal for cradle cap to occur anywhere other than the scalp as it could be eczema, and the baby should be checked by a doctor.
  • Itchiness and irritation in cradle cap: Remember, cradle cap is not itchy, and the baby will appear comfortable. Skin irritation and itchiness are signs of eczema, a condition that may look like cradle cap, but can be more serious.
  • Swollen scalp: If the cradle cap swells then it could be an infection in the underlying layers of skin. The swelling is often accompanied by severe hair loss.
  • Blood or yellowish discharge from cracks in the crust: Babies who already suffer eczema can develop cradle cap complications such as bleeding and yellow fluid discharge from the scales. The serious symptom indicates severe infection and leads to cracks in the skin.
  • A doctor will look for these symptoms while diagnosing the condition. Treatment is essential.

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    How Is Cradle Cap Treated

    Cradle cap and seborrheic dermatitis in infants usually clears up on its own in weeks or months. In the meantime, you may want to loosen and remove the scales on your baby’s scalp:

    • Wash your baby’s hair once a day with mild, tear-free baby shampoo.
    • Gently remove scales with a soft brush or toothbrush.
    • If the scales don’t loosen easily, apply a small amount of mineral oil or petroleum jelly to your baby’s scalp. Let the oil to soak into the scales for a few minutes to several hours, if needed. Then use a soft brush or toothbrush to remove scales. Shampoo your baby’s hair as usual.

    If regular shampooing doesn’t help, your doctor may recommend a mild steroid cream or antifungal shampoo.

    For seborrhea on other parts of the body, your doctor may recommend a mild steroid or antifungal cream.

    Do not use over-the-counter steroid or antifungal creams or anti-seborrhea shampoos without checking first with the doctor.

    Is It Cradle Cap Or Something Else

    Baby Cradle Cap Pictures Symptoms Causes And Treatments

    Since cradle cap can show up as scaly, red, irritated skin, it may be easily confused with other types of skin conditions such as dry scalp or eczema.

    Here are a few clues to help you differentiate.

    The scaly skin of cradle cap doesnt rub off easily. Its a buildup that is stuck on your babys skin. Meanwhile, the flaky skin of eczema or basic dry skin typically rubs off.

    Similarly, cradle cap will feel oily and rough. But dry skin or eczema feels dry.

    Lastly, cradle cap is most often limited to the head, neck, and face while dry skin and eczema can strike anywhere. That said, lets move on to the potential causes of cradle cap.

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    Gentle Skin Care For Cradle Cap On Your Babys Face

    Hopefully, youre resting a bit easier knowing that cradle cap isnt harmful, contagious, or uncommon. Watch for infection, but know that typically all you need to treat cradle cap on your babys face is the right skin care and a little bit of patience.

    Resist picking at the scales, make bathtime healthy for your babys skin, and use gentle skincare products made specifically for cradle cap such as Cradle Cap Cream and Foam Shampoo for Newborns.

    With the tips mentioned in this article, your babys cradle cap will soon be a thing of the past!

    What Causes Cradle Cap In Babies And Adults

    What causes cradle cap is not entirely certain, but in babies it may be the result of overactive oil-producing sebaceous glands, which are stimulated by the motherââ¬â¢s hormones. These glands produce sebum, an oily or waxy substance that lubricates and waterproofs the skin.

    Another factor contributing to cradle cap or seborrhea in adults may be the colonization of the sebaceous glands by natural yeasts, specifically particular subspecies of the genus Malassezia. It is possible that these yeasts do not cause cradle cap, but rather take advantage of the overproduction of sebum that is already happening.

    It is also likely that stress, chemical irritants and dry, cold weather may play a role in causing cradle cap. Cradle cap is not caused by bacteria, allergies, lack of hygiene or lack of care. It is not contagious.

    Cradle cap can be treated quite easily and will usually clear up within a few weeks or months.

    In older people, cradle cap, or seborrheic dermatitis, can be caused by the same factors that lead to the condition in infants.

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    When To Contact A Health Care Professional

    On occasion, the buildup of skin cells related to cradle cap can foster a yeast infection, particularly if it occurs in crease areas of the skin. Signs of a yeast infection include more prominent reddening of the affected area and itchiness. If this occurs or if the cradle cap begins to spread beyond the areas mentioned above, its best to call your doctor so they may determine whether a prescription is needed.

    Otherwise, consider the cradle cap care options discussed above, and simply mention any related concerns during your next well-baby appointment with your pediatrician. Though some children may experience cradle cap until they are as old as four, it typically resolves itself by babys first birthday. So chances are, youll be kissing babys flake-free head again in no time.

    What Is The Treatment For Seborrhoeic Dermatitis In Babies

    How To Get Rid Of Cradle Cap In Babies

    Treatment for seborrhoeic dermatitis is not usually needed, as the condition is usually mild, is not serious and does not usually cause any discomfort to the baby. Seborrhoeic dermatitis will usually clear up by itself eventually.

    However, the appearance of the scalp can be improved by daily washing with a baby shampoo followed by gentle brushing with a soft brush to loosen scales. Alternatively, soften the scales with baby oil first, followed by gentle brushing and then washing off with baby shampoo. If this does not work, it may be helpful to soften the scales by rubbing in olive oil, vegetable oil or white petroleum jelly. Leave this in overnight to allow it time to work. Wash it off with baby shampoo in the morning. Another option is to try a greasy moisturising lotion such as emulsifying ointment.

    If other areas are affected by seborrhoeic dermatitis, regular washing helps. Use an emollient cream instead of soap on the affected skin.

    If needed, a medicated antifungal cream may be prescribed by your doctor. Creams which may be used are clotrimazole, econazole or miconazole. This will usually clear the rash. Rarely, if inflammation is more severe, a mild steroid cream may be prescribed by your doctor.

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    Call Your Doctor If You Notice Something Strange

    If there is blood, and the baby is uncomfortable because of it , consult a doctor immediately. If the scaly patches have spread to other parts of the babys body and face, take him to the doctor as well.

    Because if it is severe, there are medicated shampoos or lotions that the doctor can recommend. Hydrocortisone cream is given for redness and swelling.

    Remember NOT to use any medicine without a doctors advice.

    Apply Baby Oil Before Brushing

    If brushing your babys scalp with a soft brush doesnt seem to be working, try adding a drop or two of baby oil before you start brushing. Then, while you brush, youll also be working the baby oil into your childs scalp for a boost of healing and prevention. Remember to be gentle so you dont further damage your babys sensitive skin.

    The great thing about baby oil is that its multi-purpose! Use it to give your baby a soothing massage, take off your makeup, pull band-aids off, and remove price tag stickers. We told you its useful! Check out our article with 17 Ingenious Ways To Use Baby Oil.

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    Cradle Cap: What You Should Know

    My baby looks like he has dandruff. Is it cradle cap?

    is a common skin condition among newborns. Babies with cradle cap will have yellow scales and crusts that look like dandruff on the scalp. The scales can be greasy or dry. Cradle cap can begin in the first two to six weeks of life and is not usually seen past six months of age. It is not painful or itchy, and it is probably caused by hormones the baby received from mom at the end of pregnancy, which overstimulated the babys oil producing seborrheic glands. Cradle cap is not contagious and does not recur. Along with cradle cap, there can be redness behind the ears, in body creases and in the diaper area. If the areas are raw and painful, contact your pediatrician for further guidance about home care.

    Cradle cap is harmless and usually clears within two weeks of treatment, but can last for months without treatment. Unless the cradle cap is bothersome to you, it is perfectly okay to leave it alone. If you choose to treat it, buy an anti-dandruff shampoo at the drugstore and wash hair twice a week. Daily use of anti-dandruff shampoo is not approved for children under 2 years of age, but twice a week is fine, even for infants. While the hair is lathered, massage the scalp with a soft brush or a rough washcloth for five minutes .

    Care Advice For Cradle Cap

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  • What You Should Know About Cradle Cap:
  • Cradle cap is a common skin condition of newborns.
  • It’s caused by overactive oil glands in the scalp.
  • It’s harmless and will go away on its own. But it takes time.
  • Here is some care advice that should help.
  • Shampoo Daily:
  • Wash the hair with an anti-dandruff shampoo . Do this twice a week. No prescription is needed. Note: The daily use of anti-dandruff shampoo isn’t approved until after 2 years old. But, using it twice a week is fine.
  • On the other days, wash the hair with baby shampoo.
  • Scalp Massage:
  • While the hair is lathered, massage the scalp with a soft brush. You can also use a rough washcloth or your fingers for 5 minutes. Don’t worry about hurting the soft spot.
  • Baby Oil:
  • If the scalp has thick crusts , put some baby oil on the scalp. Do this for 15 minutes before shampooing to soften the crusts.
  • Wash all the oil off, however, or it may worsen the cradle cap.
  • Do not use olive oil.
  • Cradle cap lotions for loosening up the scales are also available without a prescription. Apply the lotion 15 minutes before shampooing.
  • Steroid Cream:
  • If the rash on the scalp is red and irritated, use 1% hydrocortisone cream. An example is Cortaid. No prescription is needed.
  • Put this on once a day.
  • After 1 hour, wash it off with soap and water.
  • Do this for 7 days or less.
  • Expected Course:
  • Cradle cap will eventually go away on its own between 6 and 12 months of age. Usually, it doesn’t cause any symptoms .
  • Return to Child Care:
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    Home Treatment Of Cradle Cap

    Mild cradle cap usually gets better without treatment after a few weeks. It may help if you:

    • Loosen the crusts by massaging the scalp with mineral oil at night, then wash the hair with a baby shampoo the next morning, gently lifting the crusts off with a soft brush . Try this each day until your babys scalp looks clearer.
    • Use a mild antidandruff shampoo if the other treatment is not working be careful, these shampoos can irritate a babys eyes more than shampoos made for babies.

    The cradle cap can come back, even when treated properly, because the glands continue to produce sebum for several months after birth.

    Treatments For Cradle Cap

    Cradle cap will go away on its own and does not need to be treated. But most parents prefer treatment because it usually helps reduce or get rid of the problem faster. Even with treatment, this condition may return during the babys first year of life.

    Home care treatment, as follows, is usually effective in helping symptoms:

    • Wash your babys hair with a mild shampoo, every couple of days.
    • Use a soft-bristled brush to gently brush out scales.
    • Baby oil, olive oil, mineral oil or petroleum jelly may help soften the scales. When applying the oil, rub only small amounts into the scales. Then shampoo and brush out the oil about an hour later, to avoid more build-up.
    • If your baby has seborrheic dermatitis, a mild hydrocortisone cream is safe and usually effective. If this doesnt help, see your doctor.

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