Cradle Cap- Common Questions and Home Remedies From A Pediatrician

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All of a sudden your baby seems to be developing a scaly or red rash on its scalp. Was it even there yesterday? As a new mom, you have a sudden pang of anxiety, thinking maybe it was the shampoo or detergent you are using with baby? You then rush to the pediatrician’s office and they explain that it’s cradle cap (seborrheic dermatitis), a common baby skin condition that really will go away on it own and its nothing to worry about. A relief, but most new parents I know many want to clear it up as fast as possible or help to prevent it from spreading or getting worse. Here are the most common questions I get asked about cradle cap

Can cradle cap resolve without any treatment?

Most cases of cradle cap do resolve on their own. However, treatment can help it go away faster by not building up thicker scales and plaques that may get infected with fungus. Daily cleansing, washing and brushing can help resolve it faster.

How long does it take for cradle cap to go away?

It depends on the severity of the infection. It can be weeks to months but in more severe cases it can take up to a year to clear.

Does cradle cap increase the risk of hair fall in children?

Mostly hair is not affected but again more severe cases with thick plaques can cause temporary hair loss in children.

Is it normal for cradle cap to smell bad?

Most often cradle cap does not have a strong odor however, due to the oil build up and the flakes, scales that get trapped, can have an oily odor. But if you smell a very strong odor even with daily shampooing and care, have the baby seen by a pediatrician as a fungal infection may have developed.

Is it safe to scrape off cradle cap?

Gentle daily cleaning and massage with a moisturizer like oil can be very effective in removing the scales and flakes. Be certain not to pick at it with your fingers or a hard brush or comb as that can cause trauma, irritation, bleeding and even increase the risk of infection.

Do’s and Don’ts

Rest assured that it is a very common and not contagious infection. Shampoo baby’s hair daily with a gentle cleanser and use a soft baby brush to remove scales and flakes to decrease build up.

Massage a bit of oil (coconut, almond, mineral) to baby scalp before shampooing. Avoid harsh non diluted apple vinegar or even certain essential oils on the baby’s scalp as it’s very sensitive and may cause skin irritation or burning. For severe cases with thick plaques or order, consult with a pediatrician as prescription medicines may be needed.

Let me know what has worked with your baby?

For more information  on home remedies to help decrease cradle cap from the  Top!0HomeRemedies Team