The heads up on cradle cap

By Michelle Vogrinec, GAIA skin naturals

Mild cradle cap affects nearly all babies at some point and in most cases is nothing really to worry about. It is simply a form of dermatitis which causes inflammation in the pores, trapping shed skin flakes, creating unsightly yellowy patches, mostly on the crown of the head and sometimes in the eyebrows.

PBC Expo spoke with Michelle Vogrinec from GAIA to get a heads up on cradle cap.

Cradle cap usually only occurs in the first three months up to 12 months old and often clears by itself. It is not contagious, but many parents prefer to remove it because they do not like the look or feel of it on their baby’s head.

To remove the cradle cap flakes, dermatologists often suggest the application of a gentle oil followed by a mild shampoo. A pure vegetable or nut based oil suitable for babies can be really useful in helping to remove cradle cap from little one’s scalps.

You can follow these easy steps:

  1. Massage oil into your little one’s scalp using gentle, circular motions with just the tips of your fingers
  2. Leave the oil on until the cradle cap resembles soggy cornflakes
  3. To remove loose crusts, very lightly use a soft toothbrush but don’t rub vigorously as this may be irritating and be careful with baby’s fontanelles
  4. Comb flakes out of the hair
  5. Wash with a mild baby shampoo to remove excess oil and loose flakes.
  6. Repeat daily if required

Some parents find that after initial oil treatment and switching to a gentle baby shampoo it lessens the problem or may go away entirely.

When choosing a shampoo, look for one that is soap free, sulphate free and pH balanced so it doesn’t upset the natural protective oils of the scalp, which when disturbed can cause dryness and cradle cap. Look for a product with added moisturisers to keep the scalp in good condition.

Remember not to pick at the crusty bits as this can cause infections. Severe cradle cap may require further attention by a medical professional so if concerned please seek medical advice - particularly if it is bleeding or infected.

But generally, by following a gentle and nourishing hair care routine, you’ll soon be proud of bub’s ‘crowning glory’ once again.

Note: The views and advice expressed on this blog post are those of the author and are not representative of the Pregnancy Babies & Children's Expo.

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