Baby Care

How to prevent cradle cap

Parents have been heading me off at the pass asking how to prevent their baby’s scalp from looking so red and scaly. Well, let me do more than skin the surface and scale down any concerns on the subject of a baby scalp rash we call “cradle cap.”What is Cradle Cap?Cradle cap is an inflammation of the scalp characterized by redness and a crusty yellow scaliness of the skin on the scalp.It can oftentimes also be seen in the creases of the neck, armpits, behind the ears, and even in the diaper area. When it spreads beyond the scalp, we give it the fancier name of seborrheic dermatitis. This is because it occurs where there are the greatest number of oil producing, or what we call, sebaceous glands. Cradle cap is noninfectious and very common in infants. It usually starts in the first weeks of life and slowly disappears over weeks or months. It can be present throughout the first year of life, however. Unlike eczema, another inflammatory rash of the skin in infants, it is rarely uncomfortable or causes itching.Causes of Cradle Cap We are not sure what causes cradle cap, but there are some studies that suggest that a mother’s hormonal changes during pregnancy may be a source. These changes may stimulate the baby’s oil glands, causing the rash to appear that is characterized by the redness and scaling. What to Do About Cradle Cap If it is just confined to the scalp, washing the hair with a mild baby shampoo may be all it takes to remove the scaliness, which can be helped by soft brushing of the scalp with a baby toothbrush after the shampoo.Stronger medicated anti-seborrheic shampoos with sulfur and salicylic acid may help loosen scales more quickly, but may also irritate your baby’s skin, so don’t use these products without speaking first with your baby’s health care professional. If the cradle cap is becoming more severe, your child’s doctor might prescribe a mild steroid cream like hydrocortisone. Once the redness and scaling are gone, then frequent hair washing and a mild baby shampoo are all you may need to prevent the rash from recurring.The good news is that cradle cap does go away over time and does not leave scars. Hopefully, tips like these will be hair today and gone tomorrow when it comes to knowing more and worrying less about cradle cap on your baby’s head. Lewis First, MD, is Chief of Pediatrics at The University of Vermont Children’s Hospital and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Vermont’s Larner College of Medicine. You can also catch “First with Kids” weekly on WOKO 98.9FM and NBC5.

Parents have been heading me off at the pass asking how to prevent their baby’s scalp from looking so red and scaly.

Well, let me do more than skin the surface and scale down any concerns on the subject of a baby scalp rash we call “cradle cap.”

What is Cradle Cap?

Cradle cap is an inflammation of the scalp characterized by redness and a crusty yellow scaliness of the skin on the scalp.

It can oftentimes also be seen in the creases of the neck, armpits, behind the ears, and even in the diaper area.

When it spreads beyond the scalp, we give it the fancier name of seborrheic dermatitis. This is because it occurs where there are the greatest number of oil producing, or what we call, sebaceous glands.

Cradle cap is noninfectious and very common in infants. It usually starts in the first weeks of life and slowly disappears over weeks or months. It can be present throughout the first year of life, however.

Unlike eczema, another inflammatory rash of the skin in infants, it is rarely uncomfortable or causes itching.

Causes of Cradle Cap

We are not sure what causes cradle cap, but there are some studies that suggest that a mother’s hormonal changes during pregnancy may be a source.

These changes may stimulate the baby’s oil glands, causing the rash to appear that is characterized by the redness and scaling.

What to Do About Cradle Cap

If it is just confined to the scalp, washing the hair with a mild baby shampoo may be all it takes to remove the scaliness, which can be helped by soft brushing of the scalp with a baby toothbrush after the shampoo.

Stronger medicated anti-seborrheic shampoos with sulfur and salicylic acid may help loosen scales more quickly, but may also irritate your baby’s skin, so don’t use these products without speaking first with your baby’s health care professional.

If the cradle cap is becoming more severe, your child’s doctor might prescribe a mild steroid cream like hydrocortisone. Once the redness and scaling are gone, then frequent hair washing and a mild baby shampoo are all you may need to prevent the rash from recurring.

The good news is that cradle cap does go away over time and does not leave scars.

Hopefully, tips like these will be hair today and gone tomorrow when it comes to knowing more and worrying less about cradle cap on your baby’s head.

Lewis First, MD, is Chief of Pediatrics at The University of Vermont Children’s Hospital and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Vermont’s Larner College of Medicine. You can also catch “First with Kids” weekly on WOKO 98.9FM and NBC5.

Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button