Coping with Cradle Cap, That Flaky Stuff on Your Child’s Head


Nearly instantly after I introduced my third baby (by the way, my first son) house from the hospital, I observed one thing unusual on his head:

There, blended in with the darkish brown hair I discovered so surprising after I had been anticipating him to be blonde like his father, have been crusty, yellow flakes that I might solely describe as scaly. I used to be horrified. Did he have some sort of illness? Was I not washing him correctly? Might it’s–OMG–leprosy? 

Luckily for all of us, he didn’t have leprosy, however my son did have a fairly textbook case of cradle cap. However what precisely is cradle cap and what are you able to do in case your child has it? 

Cradle cap is actually flaky, scaly patches in your child’s pores and skin. They will vary from only a few flakes to massive patches throughout your child’s head. They have a tendency to look white, yellow, or skin-colored in your child’s head and so they can happen shortly after beginning or seem weeks and even months later. 

What causes cradle cap? 

More often than not, there is no such thing as a actual recognized reason behind cradle cap. In some instances, it may be attributable to over-washing your child’s head, or a build-up of shampoo (like should you do not rinse the shampoo off effectively sufficient with recent water and use the soapy tub water, for instance), however in different instances, it is simply the way in which your child’s pores and skin is shedding for now. Some docs suppose that cradle cap is frequent in newborns because of leftover hormones after beginning, which trigger an over-production of oil glands that result in the scaly patches. 

Remedy for cradle cap

Based on Healthline, cradle cap actually doesn’t usually require any special medical treatment, because it tends go away by itself for infants, particularly as they get older. It could final as little as just a few weeks all the way in which as much as months. 

If the cradle cap does not go away by itself, or should you really feel like attempting to do one thing to assist velocity up the method, Healthline additionally suggests that you just wash your child’s hair as soon as a day with a light child shampoo and moisturize your child’s head with an emollient like mineral oil just a few hours earlier than shampooing. 

Nonetheless, I’ll inform you from private expertise that I discovered that with my infants that had cradle cap that shampooing on daily basis really appeared to make the cradle cap worse. For us, skipping baths extra ceaselessly and even skipping hair washing all collectively once we did bathe the child actually helped to enhance the cradle cap. I believe it is totally different for each child although, so experiment with shampooing and see if that helps; if it does not, attempt skipping just a few days and see if it will get higher!

The opposite factor that I discovered actually helped with cradle cap was to “brush” the flakes off with a small comb. The comb that they ship you house with from the hospital was significantly helpful for this, because it gave the impression to be simply the proper measurement to loosen and take away the scales gently. I discovered that the most effective time to brush the child’s scalp was proper after a shower, because the scales gave the impression to be softened and loosened then. Simply watch out to not tug at them an excessive amount of or brush too laborious to get the scales off. 

When to see a health care provider

In some uncommon instances, cradle cap will be extra severe than only a few pesky flakes in your child’s head. On occasion, the scales can really be the results of a fungal an infection, though it is troublesome to differentiate as a result of cradle cap from a fungal an infection will nonetheless appear like “regular” cradle cap. The one actual option to know for certain is to go to your physician and check out some anti-fungal shampoo or treatment.  

You must see a health care provider in case your child’s case seems to be getting worse, if it is bleeding or seems to be contaminated (similar to actually pink, irritated, or has any areas of pus), or if it is lasting greater than a month or so. You also needs to carry up your child’s cradle cap along with your pediatrician in case your toddler appears uncomfortable or in ache because of the flakes. 

Different ideas for coping with cradle cap

No matter you do, do not do what I used to be all the time tempted to do and choose at these little flakes of pores and skin in your child’s head. Not solely is it really painful in your child (I imply, these flakes are nonetheless hooked up), however pulling them off can result in irritation or a pores and skin an infection and in some instances, even make the cradle cap worse. Total, in case your child has cradle cap, do not panic — the situation is, usually, completely regular and will be managed at house. And if all else fails, there’s all the time cute little child hats, proper?

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