Cradle cap is a skin ailment common amongst infants and children. In medical terminology, it is known as infantile seborrheic dermatitis. The disease manifests itself through dry, rough and flaky patches on the outer surface of your child’s head. This disease is particularly common among children with ages ranging between newly born babies to 3-year-old.
The precise cause of this disease is yet to be ascertained by the doctors and researchers, but it is a common belief among researchers that this disease is hereditary and is passed on to the children through their mothers. It can be hormonal or may be a consequence of an antibiotic taken by the mother during the tenure of her pregnancy. Some other causes that contribute to the affliction of this ailment include; overstimulation of oil glands of your baby, extremely harsh and rough weather, unhygienic conditions, allergies to certain edibles and formation of yeast in the digestive glands of your child.
The most common symptoms of cradle cap include;
- Scaly patches on the surface of your skin characterized by their yellow or white color
- Irritation of skin
- Hair loss
- Inflammation of skin
Cradle cap is not necessarily an illness or consequence of one nor it is indicative of a child not being taken care of properly. Cradle cap is not a harmful or acute disease by any stretch of imagination unless it is a direct consequence of some infection. It usually vanishes within a few weeks of its emergence. However, since the victims of this ailment are children, their parents/ guardians find it hard to wait for this ailment to disappear itself and it can be excruciating to see your child suffer from this grotesque and unsightly skin condition.
The name of this disease indicates that this affliction common occurs on the scalp area, but that is not the case. The disease is also known to appear on other parts of the body of your child, namely; eyebrows, eyelids, ears, nose crease, on the back of neck area, around the diaper area and armpits.
Note: If you notice this disease encroaching on other parts of the body from the scalp area, you should immediately consult your family doctor to inhibit its growth as it is indicative of the disease progressing into its advance stage rather than subsiding on its own.
There are several remedies that you can try at home if you can’t bear the excruciating pain of your child waiting for this affliction to go away on its own. These remedies are tried and tested and ensure that no harm is caused to the tender skin of your child upon their application.
1: Baby Shampoo
Rinsing the head of your child with shampoos made specifically for babies with lukewarm water can help in softening the flakes on the scalp and help in early disappearance of this disease.
It can be applied in the following manner:
- Dip your baby’s scalp in the lukewarm water prepared for this bath
- Start applying the baby shampoo on the scalp in a tender fashion ( I don’t think it needed any mentioning, but just in case you intended on being aggressive in treatment of this disease)
- Let the shampoo stay there for a couple of minutes and then start scrubbing the scalp with a baby brush with soft bristles
- Now clean the head with the help of warm water and gently dry the head with the help of a towel
- Keep repeating this exercise for once a day for the first week after emergence of symptoms of this disease and then twice a day for the second week in case the symptoms are not subsiding
2: Olive Oil
Application of olive oil on the scalp of a child afflicted with this disease is highly effective and it comes highly recommended by The American Academy of Family Physicians. Its effectiveness lies in its moisturizing and healing properties that are helpful in helping softening and loosening the flakes on scalps resulting from this disease.
It can be applied in the following manner:
- Heat a few drops of olive oil just slightly so its application isn’t painful for your baby
- Start massaging the heated oil tenderly on the head of your baby just before night time
- Let the oil stay on the scalp over the course of night
- In the morning, remove the loose particles with the help of baby brush with soft bristles
- Apply baby shampoo as discussed earlier in warm water
- Repeat this exercise daily or on alternative days (if the symptoms are starting to subside)
3: Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has anti fungal as well as anti bacterial properties that are particularly effective in warding off infections. Just like olive oil, it acts as a natural moisturizer and nourisher and helps in loosening of flakes resulting from cradle cap on the scalp of your child.
Its application involves the following steps:
- Take a few drops of solid organic coconut oil in the palm of your hand
- Rub the oil in the palms of your hands until it converts into liquid form
- Start massaging this oil tenderly on the affected areas
- Let the oil stay there for 20-25 minutes and then wash it off with warm water
- Use a brush with soft bristles to remove the loose particles
- Repeat this exercise daily until the disease wears off