How should I treat the scaly flakes on my babies head?

May 8, 2014 by  
Filed under Baby Problems

treat scaly flakes on babies headFor the last few days I have been observing a thick, oily, brown scaling on my babies scalp. These are flaky and when dry comes off like dandruff. This is a common concern of parents who are alarmed and worried of how these scaly flakes are going to affect the baby.

This condition is called Cradle cap. Doctors call it seborrheic dermatitis, and it’s very common in small babies. In older kids the problem is called dandruff.


Cradle cap shows up in the initial months and remain upto 9 months sometimes a year too. The duration varies from child to child and family history too.

Some babies get these scales just as a small patch, others have scales all over their heads. Sometimes, cradle cap can even occur on the eyebrows, eyelids, ears, crease of the nose, back of the neck, diaper area, or armpits.

You will be tempted to pick at the scaly patches on your baby’s head, but try not to. Picking at it can leave sore patches that could become infected.

Is cradle cap contagious?

Cradle cap is not contagious and it is not caused due to poor hygiene or allergies. Most of the time, it just goes away on its own.

Causes of Cradle cap?

The exact cause of cradle cap isn’t known, although some researchers believe it can be caused by an overproduction of skin oil (sebum) in the oil glands and hair follicles. A type of yeast (fungus) called malassezia can grow in the sebum along with bacteria, and this may be another factor in the development of cradle cap.

Also observed that this skin problem -Seborrhea often runs in families, meaning the conditions that lead to cradle cap can be passed from mother to baby before birth. Factors that contribute in development of cradle cap are weather extremes, oily skin, infrequent skin cleaning, lotions that contain alcohol, obesity, and other skin disorders

How to treat cradle cap?

Your baby will not be bothered by this skin condition. Itching happens if the spread of flakes is severe. Understand how to treat cradle cap.

Massage your baby’s scalp with coconut oil or almond oil such that the skin is moist. Leave it for 15 mins. Then clean the scalp with a soft brush to help loosen the scales and wash your baby’s scalp with mild shampoo.

Follow this routine daily and you will see the flakes decrease gradually.Once the scales are less the frequency of shampooing baby’s head can be changed to once a week. Cradle cap may disappear for months at a time and then suddenly reappear, you can control the re-occurrence by regular oiling and shampooing.

If your baby’s cradle cap starts to look red and swollen, take her to the doctor. Avoid self medication. Consult the doctor if the condition is becoming severe. this indicates that the area is infected. Your doctor can prescribe an antifungal cream or medicated shampoo, or a course of antibiotics.

There is nothing to worry. Follow doctors instructions and your baby will be free of the skin complaint.

Also read: Easy ways to treat baby eczema effectively

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