Dandruff is never a fun experience for adults. It's itchy, flaky and very visible, especially if your hair is darker. Seeing flakes that appear like dandruff starting on your baby's head can be stressful, but it's a common problem that can be fixed at home. Most of the time, it clears itself up, and surprise! It's not dandruff.
Cradle cap looks bad, but it's important to keep in mind that it will most likely go away and it won't cause the baby any harm. It's also important to note that it is not caused by anything you're doing. It's not a sign of bad hygiene, nor is it contagious.
Cradle cap is the term used to describe Infantile Seborrheic Dermatitis. It is caused by a build up in the oil glands in baby's scalp and it normally starts when a little one is around one month old. It usually lasts up to six to twelve months but can last longer. Sometimes it can last into adulthood but most commonly, you'll see baby clear up by their first birthday.
So, what are the symptoms of this common ailment? Flaking skin on the scalp, behind the ears and around the eyebrows along with yellow crusting, patchy and scaly crust, oily or dry skin covered in flaky white or yellow skin and occasionally redness are all symptoms.
The symptoms may, at times, look alarming or even serious, but baby will most likely not notice so there will be no real cause for alarm. They typically start between one and three months of age and most mild cases will clear up by themselves.
While cradle cap isn't an allergy, it can be seen in a lot of families that have eczema and asthma. It's likely caused by either overactive sebaceous glands. If the glands produce too much, it prevents the dead skin from drying out and falling off. It can also lead to clogging.
It is also thought to be caused by a fungal infection, especially if mom took antibiotics while she was pregnant.
And how can you treat cradle cap? Wash the baby's hair daily with a gentle shampoo, put baby oil in hair to soften the scales and brush them out with a wire brush.
When you discover the first signs of cradle cap, it's the time to move in on it. Soak the baby's hair in oil for a little bit, comb their hair with a soft wire brush, wash their hair then brush it again. Also, if you're a first time mom, especially, dealing with this for the first time remember that there is nothing you're doing wrong and it's just a normal thing that around ten or higher percent of babies go through at some time in their lives. There is no discomfort and they won't even notice.