When your baby’s scalp looks like it is growing scales.
Cradle cap is one of those things many new (and sometimes subsequent) parents don’t expect. Suddenly your little peach is growing and shedding gross scales from her precious head and you are unsure why. Rest assured that this is a normal condition that happens to many babies. Here is the why and how.
Although doctors are not 100 percent certain why cradle cap occurs, oily skin is one known major issue. Cradle cap could have something to do with a mother’s hormones that a baby is exposed to after birth or it could just simply be dead skin that sticks to a baby’s natural skin oils. Or it could be some sort of yeast infection. Regardless of the cause, it is completely harmless and temporary. But it is unsightly on some babies so here are some treatments you can try to get rid of cradle cap.
It’s that simple? In some cases, it can be! Regular and vigorous shampooing can make a big difference in some babies between smooth and flaky scalps.
Olive, Almond, or Coconut Oil
Olive, almond, and coconut oils are effective against cradle cap as well. It may seem counter-intuitive since oily skin seems to be a cause but these oils do wonders when you want to make those flakey flakes disappear. Try rubbing a little of your oil of choice in baby’s hair and let it sit for a while before bath time. Then gently rub it with a clean baby hairbrush and watch those flakes come loose. Then wash with a mild soap and water to rinse those flakes goodbye. You can also add coconut oil to baby’s scalp at bedtime and brush then wash it away in the morning.
Many mamas swear by Vaseline. Vaseline also works well overnight. It is goopy yet effective. By morning, your little lass should be flake-free.
Fine-Toothed Baby Comb
Look for a fine-toothed baby comb and gently comb across baby’s scalp after baths. You will be surprised how much comes off after a bath! This is probably one of the fastest and easiest ways to remove those flakes.
Brew Some Tea
Some more natural parents swear by lesser-known remedies, such as washing baby’s skin with things like tea. Chamomile, comfrey root and burdock are all said to be effective in wading off cradle cap.
Call Your Pediatrician If It Gets Worse
If your baby’s scalp gets worse after trying any of the above treatments, call your pediatrician. He may suggest a medicated shampoo or a medicinal option, such as hydrocortisone cream or antifungal medications. Be sure to talk with your baby’s doctor or a pharmacist before giving any antifungal drugs or applying any medicated shampoos or hydrocortisone creams or before administering to your baby’s skin.
- Olivia, mom & a pediatric nurse
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